Making a meaningful connection with someone that you’ve just met is challenging. When it’s a face-to-face interview, you also have the pressure of somehow connecting respectfully with the interviewer in a way that lands you a new job. No pressure, right? Here’s how to connect more thoroughly on the spot with an interviewer to improve your chances of getting the job you want.
Step 1 – Prepare
Prepping for an interview is extremely important. Make sure you take the time to understand the company and the person you are interviewing with. You can find out more about the interviewer or panel of interviewers and the company on social media platforms like LinkedIn. Taking the time to understand the background of the individuals you’ll meet is just as important as understanding the kind of company you’ll be working for. Try thinking about how you will relate one-on-one to the person you are interviewing with.
The added benefit of preparing for the interview by researching background material is it will help you feel more confident and in control during the process.
Step 2 – Establish rapport
Many times it is the soft skills that will get you the job. Interviewers will measure your friendliness and communication skills. If you come across well during the interview you’ll likely interact more effectively with co-workers, clients, or managers. If you don’t establish a connection during the interview process the hiring manager or recruiter may assume you are not a good communicator or generally pleasant to deal with, so making a good first impression is highly important. Here are some suggestions for how to create rapport with your interview team:
- Greet the interviewers warmly as if you’re happy to see them. Stand up, shake their hand, and share that you appreciate the opportunity.
- Smile and be genuine in your interactions. Try to express positive emotions, even when the interview questions are difficult. Always be optimistic and enthusiastic about chatting with your interviewer as you share your story.
- Make small talk by asking the interviewer or recruiter questions such as, “How is your day going so far?” Ask the interviewers how long they’ve worked at the company or whether they’ve had other roles at the company. This will help relax the interviewer and warm up the conversation.
- Sit up straight and lean into the interview questions to show that you are engaged. Always make eye contact to show you’re listening to what they’re saying. Acknowledge that you’re listening by nodding and affirming the conversation with, “I see,” or, “I understand.”
- Many times you’ll interview with a team of people, so try to pay attention to everyone in the room as much as you can. This is hard to do sometimes, especially if it’s one primary person doing the interview. However, it’s important to try to build rapport with everyone in the room.
- At the end of the interview, thank everyone for their time. Follow up immediately with an email to your contact and reiterate your interest in the position.
Top Stack can put you in touch with major employers who are standing by to interview you. Practice these interview skills by reaching out to our team to see what’s available in your community. Contact us today.