Building Rapport in a Job Interview
Even though you go into a job interview to sell your education and skills, it takes more than that to get the job. Building rapport goes a long way regarding the impression the interviewer has of you. The better it is, the better your chance is of getting hired. Working to build rapport is important because you need to do all you can to edge out your competition.
Show up at the interview looking sharp and on time. As soon as you are introduced to the person interviewing you, look them in the eye and shake their hand. They want to feel comfortable with you from the start. A warm smile can do that. Make some type of small talk about the weather or other common foundation. Make sure you keep it positive, though; you don’t want to start the interview off by complaining about how cold it is outside. Don’t start whining how hard it was to find a parking spot this morning.
When you enter the office of the interviewer, quickly survey it. Do they have collectibles in the office such as sports memorabilia? If so, comment on it as that will help to build rapport. It tells the interviewer that you are interested in them. Spend a few minutes talking about that subject and then get comfortable and brace yourself for the tough behavioral or situational interview questions to start.
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Look for other cues, too, that can help you to build that rapport during your interview answers. For example, when asked if you can handle the hours of the job, make sure you express that you have terrific help with your children. If you notice photos on the desk of the interviewer with children, add in a comment about how you are sure they realize the value of knowing the children are in good hands while you are at work.
Don’t drop off the rapport when it is time to go. Wrap up the interview with some small talk that isn’t work related. Thank them for their time to interview you. This really builds the relationship as it shows them that you appreciate how valuable their time is. Tell them you look forward to hearing from them. Incorporating such concepts will reduce stress during an interview for you. It will also make the interview more comfortable and that can be key to you getting hired. Make sure your efforts are genuine though or your impression could be less than positive. For more thoughts on interview etiquette see HERE.
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