How to Build Rapport during a Job Interview ?
Rapport is one of those feelings that can be described as “you will know it when you see it.” It results in establishing trust, a bond, a link, or a connection with someone.
Many recruiters, human resource professionals, and hiring managers place great emphasis on hiring candidates with whom they have established a good rapport; therefore, job seekers should do anything possible to improve their odds of achieving this connection with interviewers.
Building rapport should take place early in the interview and requires understanding and practicing the principles involved before applying them during the interview.
Its importance is so critical that a job seeker with all substance and no rapport will not get an offer.
• Will supervisors, peers, and subordinates like you ?
• Do you have a friendly personality ?
• Will you treat others with respect even when they disagree ?
• Can employees trust you and confide in you with sensitive business or personal issues ?
• Do you have excellent people skills ?
• Can you reach consensus without confrontation ?
• Can you describe your accomplishments without being condescending ?
Demonstrating that you are a person others would enjoy workingwith every day is an attribute of winning job seekers. Although some may succeed in being well liked without much preparation or coaching, no one should underestimate the need to establish and maintain rapport with each interviewer at each meeting.
Rapport is a prerequisite for achieving a desired interview outcome, and it is the result of a positive communications experience between job seeker and interviewer.
Establishing a connection, applying neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques, and executing a first impression are powerful tools for establishing rapport. Good things happen to prepared people.
Establishing rapport in the first five to ten minutes sets a positive tone for the remainder of the interview. Job seekers should identify a connection with each interviewer as part of interview preparation or do so on-the-spot during the interview.
Possible connections include attending the same school, working at the same company, sharing a common acquaintance, vacationing at the same resort, living in the same town, enjoying the same favorite restaurant, or something else that would provide the interviewer with a positive reminder about your visit.
If the meeting were to take place in the interviewer’s office, you can scan the room for pictures or desktop items to provide a hint of the interviewer’s interests.
Be certain it is the interviewer’s room before commenting on any observations.
Care should be taken when observing pictures of the interviewer with other people. Someone’s late husband could be in a desktop picture and a cloud would cover the room if you asked who the person was.
If you have been to the location of a family picture, you could mention that it was one of your favorite trips—trying to initiate discussion about your visit to the same place.
There are some interviews that just do not go well and you are convinced that you will not be invited for a return visit. In some instances, an interviewer’s body language can project a negative attitude about the interview.
Be on the lookout for signs of unwelcome behavior and take action to salvage the interview by changing that behavior.
Job seekers should be wary when interviewer’s exhibit a “prove it to me” or “I don’t believe you” attitude. A common body position that could convey this attitude is when arms are firmly folded across the chest for a noticeable period of time and the interviewer is not smiling.
No matter what you say, it appears that the interviewer has no interest or does not believe you. Another situation that could derail an interview is a bored, impatient, or uninterested interviewer.
Body language that could reflect these feelings includes frequent yawning, doodling, or watching the clock. At the same time these negative tell-tale signs are being observed, job seekers must be careful not to exhibit any of these fatal moves.
There is no second chance for a first impression—it lasts a long time. The magic of a first impression must be sustained throughout the interview, so repeat some of its elements such as smiling frequently; maintaining direct eye contact without staring; and vary the amount of feeling, warmth, passion, and excitement in every response.
Communicate clearly, present a professional, mature image, be modest, and display pride and an inner confidence when describing accomplishments.
Be on alert at all times for a first impression opportunity. Youmight meet your next interviewer or supervisor anywhere on company premises from the reception area to the restroom.
Be positive about everything, including previous companies worked, bosses, travel time to the interview, everything.
There should be no complaints or negative words mentioned, not even a negative thought. Use compliments to demonstrate that you are a friendly and thoughtful person and be careful not to overdo your friendliness.
Refer to an item of clothing, the desk, a picture, or something you observe in the office and be sincere when acknowledgingits beauty or other quality.
Describe your use of a company product and mention its good features, especially when comparing it to a competitive product. Flattery can be an integral part of the first impression.