Time for a new job?

Want to come across well?

Need to prepare?

Here, red10 ‘s Will Sudworth shares the reverse psychology gems from the classic book “What colour is your parachute?”.

In his classic book “What colour is your parachute?”, Richard Bolles asks: When you’ve been recruiting, if you’re honest, what were your biggest fears?

It’s a great question. It allows you, as a job seeker, to put yourself in the shoes of the leaders you’re about to talk with.

Top 5 recruiter fears

  1. They fear that your descriptions of achievement aren’t true or are exaggerated
  2. They fear that you’ll sink rather than swim, if they gave you the job
  3. They fear that even if you can swim, you’ll swim slowly
  4. They fear that even if you can swim well, that you won’t swim well with others
  5. They fear that if they just waited a little longer, a better swimmer would become available

These are 5 great fears on which to use reverse psychology.

Using Reverse Psychology to address the fear

Applying reverse psychology to the 5 fears helps you prepare very well for interview and/or for those corridor conversations that lead to career opportunities – have you noticed that many interviews happen during informal conversations?

Let’s run through the reverse psychology on each fear, in turn.

Fear #1: Untrue or exaggerated?

Some people have a great ability with words to “sell themselves” yet aren’t actually good at what they do. Their words can be untrue or – at best – exaggerated.

How can you reassure the recruiting leader that this isn’t you? By providing evidence.

Examples include:

A – Quoting facts and figures as you describe your achievements. If you’ve used a CV, then these facts and figures will match what you say and be verifiable somehow.

B – Showing news articles, research papers, photos; any kind of evidence that allows the recruiter to see the truth for themselves

What could evidence look like for you?

Fear #2: Sink or Swim?

How can you reassure the recruiter that you’ll swim, rather than sink, when you start the new job?

Could it be that you’ve done something similar and it worked well?

What evidence can you give?

Fear #3: Slow swimmer?

How can you reassure the recruiter that not only can you swim, you can swim fast?

In the Parachute book, they suggest that this is the moment to explicitly say how much you love learning, explicitly say that, and give evidence for it.

Fear #4: Swim well with others?

There are some incredible swimmers who need the pool to themselves: they splash too much for anyone else to be in there.

How can you reassure the recruiter that you swim well with others and will be a good presence in the locker room?

In the Parachute book, they suggest that this is about:

A  – Doing your research on the organisation and leaving them saying “they love our set-up better than even we do – we need their positive vibes on the team”

B –  Giving evidence of how you’re a team player

Fear #5: Wait for better?

So you pass all the first four tests, but what if we just waited a bit longer – might someone even better come along?

In the Parachute book, they suggest that the reverse psychology on this is all about your uniqueness: Yes, there will be others yet they won’t have the unique combo of skills and experience you have. And this is a unique opportunity to get you.

They suggest you explicitly use the word “unique”.

What is your unique combo?

Putting all this together

We’ve found that putting all of this together gives you a great mindset, and a great stock of phrases that are useful in formal, informal and opportunistic conversations.  

Out of everything we’ve shared here, what is useful to you?