You’ve seen them. Maybe at an exhibition. Maybe in a little caravan on the side of the road. Probably on TV. Psychics! Mystics! Talkers-to-people-on-the-other-side!
Conmen. Or are they?
Because there is definite science and skill behind what many of theses lying charlatans do.

‘Science’?
It’s actually a number of sciences mixed together.
For starters, there’s hot and cold reading.

Hot reading is when you surreptitiously try to gather information about your target without their knowing it, before you encounter them.
Cold reading is how you extract information and make suppositions during the encounter itself.
And then there’s NLP, or Neuro Linguistic Programming, where you use certain actions, words, and movements to elicit certain reactions and behaviours in your target. Believe it or not, these have all been studied and proven to work.

Googly eyes
More and more recruiters and interviewers are making themselves familiar with these techniques for reading prospective employees.
They’re looking at posture, body language, how you move, speak, sit, breathe, sweat, talk… They’re looking at what you say and what you don’t say.
Don’t try to make googly eyes at your interviewer like you’re a snake in a Disney movie. But do a little research to learn about the messages you’re projecting unconsciously. The guy across from you could be doing it. You should too.

So what?
The so what is that, whether you’re on the asking or answering side of the table, you can learn some useful tricks pretty easily.
•From the depths of NLP, Patrick Mahan brings us the One Magical Question to ask when you go to a job interview: http://www.patrickmahan.com/2011/06/one-magical-question-to-help-slay-your.html.
•For all of the ins and out of cold reading check out WikiHow’s breakdown: http://www.wikihow.com/Cold-Read.
•And if you’re on the hiring side, there are some cold reading tips for you on ehow.com: http://www.ehow.com/how2316027use-cold-reading-hiring.html.