Building Rapport In Interviews

05/08/14

It’s not just what you know - it’s who you are! 

We all get nervous at the thought of going to a job interview. At ReadyGrad we communicate to our students, through our workshops and one-on-one sessions, the importance of being prepared for an interview. The more prepared you are for an interview, the more confident you feel.

The more confident you feel, the more likely you are to relax and build a rapport with your interviewer.
 

Rapport is a connection that occurs between two people and creates a sense of togetherness and common ground. The skill of being able to create rapport is never more important than in an interview. To have the ability to connect to your interviewer can have a huge impact on whether or not you are invited to become a part of their business. The reason for this is because we tend to be attracted to those who are similar to us. While your skills and experience are important elements to securing a job offer, your ability to build rapport in an interview can be just as important.

Here are some tips on how to build rapport during an interview;

Thoroughly research the company before the interview

Doing this will give you the ability to fall more easily into conversation with the interviewer about current events relating to the company. Did the company just sign a significant partnership, bring in a key individual from the industry or launch a new product? These are topics that can help build rapport and show you are on top of what’s going on at the company or in the industry. It shows you have a sincere interest in the company.

Research your interviewer

Use the web or more specifically LinkedIn to research your interviewer. This gives you the opportunity to learn about this person (their employment history, education, interests, associations, groups etc.) before you even meet them. You may have something in common with them and you may be able to draw on his common ground during the interview. Having this knowledge before an interview can give you an advantage and allow you to feel more confident when attempting to build rapport.

Be observant and ask questions

Establishing rapport with your interviewer may be done by asking questions such how they came to work for the company or their experience with particular projects. Have a look around the office - does the interviewer have a picture on their wall of a holiday destination that you may have been to? Do they have some evidence of their support for a particular sport or team? These clues can help you ask questions to break the ice and give the interviewer a better feel for your personality and a chance to build a rapport.
 
Try these tips in your next interview and see the difference in how comfortable you feel in talking to the interviewer! 

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