3 Things Poker Can Teach You About Acing A Job Interview

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    Poker Game

    This April saw a hiring dip in India, which corresponded with the second wave of COVID-19 cases. As we reported in a previous article, however, job activity since then has recovered steadily. By the end of July, the hiring rate was 65% above pre-COVID levels, benefitting sectors like IT, manufacturing, and hardware.

    Indeed, there is no better time to take advantage of new employment opportunities, especially after a year of hiring freezes. Of course, you will need to pass a job interview first — and poker, unexpectedly, is a great teacher. Here are three things you can learn from one of the world’s most popular card games to ace your next job interview:

    Play your best cards

    Research on skill in poker reveals that after one hundred games, a poker player who has better skills than his opponent is 75% more likely to have won more games. Skilled players don’t look at their cards twice; at the start of the round, they already know what they have and plan their strategy around that. Knowing your cards — or your strengths, in this scenario — is crucial for building the interview’s confidence in you.

    Before going into the interview, think about your strengths. Once you recognize the soft and hard skills you possess, try to align them with what the employer needs in a candidate. Does the role require you to be a quick problem solver? If so, talk about a time when you were able to offer a timely solution to an issue. By playing your best cards, you draw less attention to your weaknesses.

    Pay close attention to other “players”

    The ability to read other players — or in this case, the interviewer — is a vital skill for poker players. It allows them to call out bluffs, figure out the right approach, and even tell if their opponent has a weak hand. Much like calculating poker odds, you’re trying to work with incomplete information in an interview. By paying attention to how the interviewer acts, you’ll be able to adjust your approach to win them over.

    Paying attention to their body language and tone of voice so you can direct the interaction positively. Did they perk up when you discussed a certain element of your experience? If so, elaborate on that point and make the most out of it. Are they distracted while you’re speaking? Try to engage them by leaning forward with eye contact. This way, you can be more memorable among other job candidates.

    Use your poker face when you need to

    Like it or not, appearance and poise matter when you’re meeting a job interviewer. Recruiters tend to like candidates with a nice, cheerful personality, but a poker face can be useful sometimes. A poker face is a technique for removing all emotion from your face, so the other players are left in the dark about your cards. It’s good to use this move when you feel the need to play it cool at the interview.

    Being overly keen and enthusiastic is almost as bad as looking disinterested, because it gives the upper hand to your future employers in terms of negotiating your position. You want to maintain some leverage by keeping calm. If the interviewer starts discussing the salary, for instance, don’t show any disappointment or shock. This gives you have an edge, in case you wish to negotiate.

    By applying these poker skills to a job interview setting you are increasing your chance of getting the job. And the best way to practice these skills is playing a few rounds with your friends.