As I explained in the blog titled "Simple Method of Persuasion," the simple technique you would use is to focus on the common stock issues such as ill, blames, cures and consequences and show that you offer the best ratio when the employer weighs the positive consequences vs. the negative consequences.
If you have done this and still get rejected then it is something else that is entering into the equation that you have very little control over: bias Unfortunately, we are living in a world where people have have built-in biases and prejudices that unconsciously permeate in their decision making process. After people make a decision, they rationalize it with reasons that sound plausible and no one looks into how the person actually came to a particular decision.
We are wired this way. We tend to make snap decisions and then provide the reasons to justify the decision. This wa of making decisions are very unpredictable: they will either get you the job or get you rejected. You just don't know how the decision is really going to be made. Meanwhile you are approaching each interview decision as being very deliberative, but it does not work like that in real life.
What you then have to do is work hard to remove any biases or prejudices that may enter in the employer's decision making process while at the same time discover potential biases that may actually out you in a favorable position such as race, gender, affiliations, hobbies, etc.
On the negative side, if you don't neutralize the negative biases, you are not likely to get the job even if you are the best candidate on the paper. It will not matter much since the employer has made the decision not to hire you on something you apparently had little or no control over. It could be just about anything, including race, gender, age, looks, etc. You will never find out and probably get some flimsy reason like they found a better candidate without providing you with any details. You will be disappointed, but accept it and try harder next time.
Though this type of behavior has been going on for a long time, you have to aware of it and take appropriate measures to mitigate it. Note, you are fighting several biases: individual, group, organizational and cultural.
In his book "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking," Malcolm Gladwell writes about a trombone player named Abbie Conant and her trial and tribulation of getting a position at the Munich Philharmonic in 1980. Though Conant was a professional trombone player, playing for Royal Opera of Turin in Italy, she was playing an instrument that is identified with male musicians. She applied for eleven openings but only got a response from the Munich Philharmonic. The invitation to audition was addressed to "Herr Conant (Mr. Conant)," as they did not realize that Abbie was a woman. This was her first break.
Conant got another break since Munich Philharmonic was going to have a blind auditioning for thirty three candidates during the first round since one of the candidate was a son of one of its members to make the process fair. When Conant (who was number sixteen) played Ferdinand David's Konzerino for trombone, the music director of the Philharmonic, Sergiu Celibidache, was so impressed that he cried out,. "That's who we want!" and the remaining seventeen candidates were sent home. She was saved by the screen.
Afterwards, Conant had to struggle for fifteen years with the Philharmonic as they were relentless in trying to get rid of her mainly because she was a woman playing a man's instrument. She fought and eventually won but it if it weren't for the blind auditioning she would have not have gotten the first trombone position.
This led to a change in auditioning process throughout the orchestras around the world and once the prejudice was removed, more and more women and musicians from other races started appearing in the world's leading orchestras. The blind auditioning put the focus on the music not on anything that could potentially prejudice one's opinion without even consciously knowing on how a particular decision was even arrived at.
There will always be bias when a decision is being made by human beings. Our brain is optimized to be more of a survival machine than a thinking machine, so what you have to do is get the employer to think and not to make a any snap decision on your candidacy. What you have to focus on is to mitigate it as best as you can so you have a chance to get a job on your ability to get the job done.
Time is your friend
Normally if you have a winning hand then you want to get the other person to make a snap decision, but when you don't know what hand the other person is holding then you want to buy time. You want to delay any decision being made till you had plenty of time to mitigate any bias and make your case.
Avoid face-to-face meeting
Just like time is your friend to inject reason into decision making process, eyes are your enemy. If you are not what the employer visualizes as their ideal candidate, you will get rejected; therefore, you must try to avoid meeting the employer face-to-face until you get some indication that the employer is 80% in favor of hiring you. This can be based on how they react to your body of work, ideas and vision. You want to drag the process on for as long as you possibly can so you start mitigating any bias that may exist against your candidacy so that you focus on what really should matter, i.e, Do you understand the problem? Do you know how to solve the problem? Can you solve the problem cheaper, faster, smarter and better than any one else? If this becomes the primary focus, then you can be certain that the decision is going to be made on attributes that you have some control over.
Qualify, Qualify, Qualify
You only want to accept a face-to-face interview once you know that the employer is very confident that you can do the job. If the employer can clearly articulate why they believe you can do the job then you are highly likely to get the job. Until they start showing you that they like you, then they probably don't. Often this is not obvious, but you have to be looking for signs that indicate whether you are winning or losing. You may have to ask point blank on how they feel about your candidacy and your prospect of getting the job?
The rule of thumb to follow is that unless you feel that an employer is 80% of the way in hiring you, then you are ready to meet with them. If there is any doubt, then request to do an interview using Google+ Hangout. After you have exhausted all your options, you are ready to meet with the employer face-to-face where you will get to decide whether you want to work for an employer or not. Even if you don't get the job because there was a better candidate, at least you will feel good that you did your best in maintaining control throughout the entire interview process and did not waste time going after an opportunity that was already decided of not hiring you.
Getting the job is not the same as doing the job. You only control how you handle yourself during the interview process. You do not want ever want to relinquish control over that to an employer. If you do that, then you are likely to be a victim of potential prejudice or bias. We all like to think that the decision is made on merit but as we saw from the Abbie Conant's experience with leading orchestra, merit will only prevail if you eliminate potential biases lurking in the decision making process
Good Luck!. .
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