15 Persuasion Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Persuasion skills will be used.

In any job interview, employers are looking to see if you have the skills and qualities they need in an employee. But when it comes to persuasion-related jobs, they’re also looking to see if you have the ability to persuade others.

If you’re applying for a job that involves persuading others, you can expect to be asked questions about your experience and skills in this area. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample persuasion interview questions and answers.

1. What is persuasion?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of persuasion and how it works. It also allows you to show the interviewer that you know what this skill entails, which can be helpful if they ask you to describe or demonstrate your persuasive skills later in the interview process.

Example: “Persuasion is when you use logic and reasoning to convince someone to do something. In my last role as an account manager, I had to persuade clients to buy our products by explaining why our company was the best choice for them. I used facts and figures to back up my claims so that they could see the value in our services.”

2. When should someone use persuasion and when should they avoid it? How can you tell the difference between good or bad persuasion tactics in a given situation?

This question helps the interviewer understand your awareness of when to use persuasion and how you can tell if it’s appropriate. Use examples from past experiences where you used good judgment in deciding whether or not to persuade someone.

Example: “I think there are two main situations where I would use persuasion. The first is when a person isn’t aware of all their options, so I help them see more than one way to solve a problem. For example, I had a client who was looking for a new job but wasn’t sure what they wanted in a position. I helped them identify some of their priorities and then showed them several positions that matched those criteria.”

“The second situation is when someone has already made up their mind about something and just needs a little convincing. In this case, I try to find out why they have an opinion and address any concerns they may have. If I can show them that my idea is better than theirs, they’re usually willing to change their minds.”

3. What are some common ways that people try to persuade others?

This question can help the interviewer understand your knowledge of persuasion and how you might use it in your work. You can answer this question by naming some common methods people use to persuade others, such as appealing to emotions or using logical arguments.

Example: “There are many ways that people try to persuade others. One way is through emotional appeals, which involves trying to convince someone based on their feelings rather than facts. Another method is known as a logical appeal, where someone tries to persuade another person with facts and figures. A third method is called an ethical appeal, which involves convincing someone to do something because they believe it’s the right thing to do.”

4. Can you give me an example of how persuasion was used in a certain area of your life?

This question is a great way to show the interviewer how you use persuasion in your everyday life. It’s also an opportunity for you to talk about some of your greatest accomplishments and how they relate to the job.

Example: “I was working as a sales associate at a clothing store when I noticed that many customers were leaving without buying anything. I talked with my manager, who told me it was because we didn’t have any sizes left in our most popular items. So, I went around the store asking other employees if they had any extra clothes in their lockers or back rooms. I found enough pieces to fill out all of our racks, which increased sales by 20%.”

5. What are the key skills needed to be persuasive?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you know what it takes to be persuasive. You can answer this question by listing the skills and explaining how they help you persuade others.

Example: “The key skill needed for persuasion is empathy. I believe that if you can understand where someone is coming from, you can better convince them of your ideas. Another important skill is active listening. If you listen carefully to what someone has to say, you can learn more about their perspective and find common ground. Finally, I think humor is an effective tool for persuasion because it helps people relax and feel more open to new ideas.”

6. Can you give me some examples of where poor persuasion techniques have been used in society today?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you understand the importance of persuasion and how it can be used for good or bad. You should answer this question by giving examples of when someone was trying to persuade others but failed, which led to negative consequences.

Example: “I think one example of poor persuasion techniques in society today would be when people try to convince others to vote for a certain candidate without providing any evidence as to why they should do so. This type of persuasion technique is called ’empty rhetoric,’ where the person making the argument doesn’t provide any facts or evidence to support their claims. I believe this is an ineffective form of persuasion because it doesn’t give voters enough information to make an informed decision.”

7. Can you explain what cognitive bias is?

Cognitive bias is a common phenomenon that can affect the way you make decisions. Employers ask this question to see if you know how to recognize and avoid cognitive biases in your work. In your answer, explain what cognitive bias is and give an example of when you used your knowledge of it to help persuade someone.

Example: “Cognitive bias is a natural tendency we have to think in certain ways. For instance, I once had a client who was convinced they were right about something even though all evidence suggested otherwise. I knew my client’s cognitive bias was causing them to ignore facts, so I explained why their thinking was flawed. My explanation helped convince them to change their mind.”

8. Why do you think so many people fall for scams? Are there any patterns in human behavior that make them vulnerable to such attacks?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of human behavior and how it can affect the persuasiveness of your arguments. It also shows that you are aware of the dangers of falling for scams, which makes you less likely to be vulnerable yourself.

Example: “I think there are several reasons why people fall for scams. First, they want something too much. When we really want something, we’re more willing to take risks to get it. Second, they don’t know enough about what they’re doing. If someone doesn’t have all the information they need, they may make decisions based on incomplete data. Third, they trust the wrong person. Sometimes, we assume that if someone seems like an authority figure, they must be trustworthy.”

9. How would you go about changing someone’s mind on a controversial topic like abortion or gun control?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to persuade others and how you would do so in a respectful manner. In your answer, demonstrate that you can listen to the other person’s opinion and respond with facts or personal experiences to help them see things from another perspective.

Example: “I believe it is important to respect everyone’s opinions, even if I disagree with them. When someone has strong feelings about an issue like abortion or gun control, I try to understand where they are coming from by asking questions and listening carefully. Then, I share my own thoughts on the matter and explain why I feel the way I do. If I have any relevant experience or knowledge of the topic, I will use that to support my argument.”

10. Is there anything inherently wrong with using persuasion to get what you want?

This question is a great way to see how the candidate views persuasion and its role in business. It’s important that you understand their stance on this issue, as it can help you determine if they’re the right fit for your company culture.

Example: “No, there isn’t anything inherently wrong with using persuasion to get what you want. However, I think it’s important to be aware of when you are persuading someone so you can make sure you aren’t taking advantage of them or misleading them. For example, I would never use persuasion tactics to convince someone to do something that could hurt them.”

11. What are some basic steps involved in convincing someone who disagrees with you on a contentious issue?

This question can help the interviewer assess your ability to work with others and collaborate on projects. Use examples from past experiences where you successfully persuaded someone who disagreed with you or helped a team resolve conflict.

Example: “I find that it’s important to first understand why they disagree with me, so I ask questions to clarify their perspective. Then, I try to empathize with them by acknowledging how difficult this issue may be for them. Next, I share my own perspective in a calm and respectful way, making sure to provide evidence to support my claims. Finally, I thank them for listening and offer to answer any questions they have.”

12. What is confirmation bias?

This question tests your knowledge of persuasion and how it can be used to influence others. Confirmation bias is a common human behavior where people seek out information that confirms their beliefs, opinions or ideas. This can lead to them ignoring other important information that may challenge their views. Your answer should show the interviewer you understand confirmation bias and its implications for persuaders.

Example: “Confirmation bias is when someone seeks out information that supports their existing beliefs. It’s one of the most common behaviors in humans because we all want to feel like we’re right about things. However, this can cause problems for persuaders who are trying to convince others of something. If they only present evidence that supports their idea, then they aren’t giving the audience enough information to make an informed decision.”

13. Have you ever successfully persuaded someone to change their opinion on something? If yes, then how did you do it?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your persuasion skills and how you apply them in real-life situations. Use examples from previous experiences to highlight your ability to persuade others, as well as your communication and interpersonal skills.

Example: “In my last role, I had to convince our CEO that we needed more resources for marketing. He was hesitant because he didn’t want to spend too much money on it. So, I presented him with data showing that if we invested in marketing now, we would see an increase in sales within six months. After looking at the data, he agreed to give us the budget we needed.”

14. Do you think you could convince me to buy this job for $1 million?

This question is a great way to test your persuasiveness and ability to think on your feet. It’s also a good way for the interviewer to see how you react when things get a little crazy.

Example: “I would definitely try, but I’m not sure if I could do it. However, I would start by asking why they wanted me so badly that they were willing to pay $1 million for this job. Then, I would ask what their expectations are of me as an employee and what they expect from the company in general. If they’re looking for someone who can work independently, I’d tell them about my previous experience working alone. If they want someone who will be able to lead others, I’d talk about my leadership skills.”

15. What are some common signs that indicate a person is being manipulated through persuasion?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you apply your persuasion skills ethically. Your answer should show that you know when to use your persuasive abilities and when not to. You can also mention some of the ways you avoid being manipulated yourself.

Example: “I think it’s important to be aware of common signs of manipulation so I can recognize them in others and myself. Some signs include a person who is overly agreeable, uses flattery or compliments to get what they want, makes excuses for their behavior or tries to make themselves look better than others. Another sign is someone who avoids conflict by giving in to other people’s demands.

Another way I avoid being manipulated is by asking questions rather than making statements. This helps me learn more about the situation and understand where the other person is coming from.”


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