Influencing, Not Selling on Job Interviews |

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Most people I know recoil at the idea of selling or being sold to. This is also true for job interviews. In this video I’ll talk with you about how to influence or persuade someone, not sell to them.

Branding Your Relevance

Most people I know recoil at the idea of being sold to, and they hate the idea of selling to someone. We associate selling to someone as lying or overhyping or not being real. So I think what you can do is influence. I believe you can persuade and do things that cause people to be favorably disposed to you. What can you do?

And the idea starts off in your preparation for the interview. So the first thing really is, be ready. Get into a physical state and a mental state that’s going to allow you to connect with people. One thing you can do right off the bat is start breathing and centering yourself, whether you’re in the lobby before the interview, or your actual desk, waiting to be connected over zoom or whatever after using zoom or Teams or what have you.

Before you sit down at your desk, before you walk into the building, do the power pose that Amy Cuddy teaches. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s on YouTube. Amy Cuddy. C u d d y. And it’s the power pose, which translates into hands on your waist, kind of like Superman, and then reaching to the sky with them like this, where it’s straight up, enthusiastic, pumped. And what it helps you do is to feel confident and assertive.

In your preparation, ask yourself this question– Based upon what I know of the job, what would I ask me in order to determine if I was qualified for this job–and prepare your answers in advance to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Focus on the first couple of minutes.

Now, if you’re meeting someone in person, there’s a couple of ways that you persuade them, that you may influence them. And it starts off with dressing appropriately for an interview, being on time. If you’re doing this in person, minimal. Don’t carry lots of stuff, just the very few things that you might need. Turn your phone off. Make sure that if there’s something that you’re going to use to display, like, if you’re in a creative field and you want to show something in your portfolio, have you ever iPad accessible, walk into the room, if you’re doing that, confidently, and if you’re there, if you’re to shake hands with someone, match the pressure that the other person does with the handshake, don’t crush it, crush their hand, don’t do the limp fish in the hands. Just match what they do.

The Warning Sign of a Problem or That They Aren’t Sure

Confirm the appointment in advance. A quick email that says or a quick text that says confirming our appointment for such and such time. I look forward to meeting with you. It’s just a nice touch and it’s respectful of the other person. 

Chit chat. Often the interviewers will do a quick chit chat with you and try and draw you into a friendly part of the conversation. Be prepared for it. Just know that it may come; it may not come. But be aware that it might occur and if they’re asking you about you, where appropriate, you might ask something about them. For example, ‘how’s your day going?’ ‘I’m feeling fabulous. I’ve been looking forward to this for days. How’s your day going, as well? ‘Just a very casual remark that allows them to answer a question from you loosens them up a little bit.

And here’s the big one. At the time, if you’re connecting on video or meeting someone in person, one of the things I want you to do is to be ready with a smile. The friendly smile, good handshake, if you’re doing that. If you’re on camera, when you’re being connected on Zoom or whatever platform it is, have a smile on your face and a twinkle in your eyes that lets them know you’re a friendly individual and you’re ready. Okay?

When we smile, it denotes confidence and allows us to be in a good mental state going into the interview. But don’t confuse that with you’re going to just be a dish rag at times. You may have to be strong and assertive, too.

Hope you found this helpful. I’m Jeff Altman. My website is There’s a ton in the blog that will help you plus you can find that about my courses that you can rent or buy that currently are primarily about interviewing. Also, I’m going to mention to you that you can schedule time for a free discovery call for Interview Preparation schedule a coaching session for me for interview preparation. I do a one hour session that helps lots of people. Also connect with me on Linkedin at Have a terrific day and most importantly, be great!

Preparing and Practicing Your End Game


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2400 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? People hire me to provide No BS career advice whether that is about a job search, hiring better, leadership, management or support with a workplace issue. Schedule a discovery call at my website, 

My courses are available on my The courses include ones about Informational InterviewsInterviewing, final interview preparation, salary negotiation mistakes to avoidthe top 10 questions to prepare for on any job interview, and starting a new job.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, YouTube (on the account) and on Facebook (on the Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter page) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30 minute show.

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