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Tagged In:  Criminal Justice

Using psychology to boost your probation interview

Preparing for a job interview can be one of life’s stressful moments. With the anticipation of what you’ll be asked, worrying about how you’ll highlight your strengths and considering how you’re coming across to the panel, there’s a lot to think about!

If you’re a regular reader of our blog articles, then you’ll know that we’re continuously sharing advice and guidance on how to improve your chances of achieving that dream job role! We’ve explored how you can use your CV to get ahead, we’ve spoken about the importance of monitoring your online presence and we’ve even looked at how you can improve your small talk skills!

We want to do what we can to help our candidates succeed, so this week, we’re finding out how we can make a few minor adjustments to give ourselves a psychological boost!

Making the most of that first impression

In an interview scenario, you may be so focused on whether you’re saying the right things, that you neglect to consider how your first impression may come across. You want to show that you are capable, confident and willing to be part of a team – that’s not much to ask for in just a few moments, is it?

Whilst first impressions are important (some studies have suggested that a hiring manager will make their decision within the first few minutes) there are some subtle things that you can do to ensure that their impression works in your favour.

  • Act natural – the hiring panel is normal people like yourself, so simply engage in a natural conversation
  • Maintain eye contact – this is a key thing as it will help you appear more confident 
  • Strong handshake 
  • A nice smile – this portrays friendliness and will certainly give them a positive impression of you

Mirror the hiring manager’s body language

You know about the importance of body language – you’ll have spent much of your training deciphering an offender’s body language to see if they are telling the truth. A quick and easy trick is to reflect the image of the interviewer by mirroring their body language.

It’s important to be subtle (no one wants to see you doing an imitation) but if they are sat upright, then consider your posture. If they are using a lot of arm movements to gesticulate, then feel free to follow – just make sure there are no glasses of water nearby!

Say their name

It's widely regarded that using someone’s name is a good way to show your interest in what they are saying. It not only shows that you’re paying attention to what they are saying but it will make them feel much more positive towards yourself. It creates positive associations.

If you are interviewed by a panel, make sure that you get each person’s name right otherwise you could find yourself in an embarrassing situation!

Sanctuary’s team of dedicated consultants can offer a variety of tips and tricks to help you enhance your interview skills. If you’re looking for advice to help you feel confident and sell your skills, make sure you give us a call!
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