Ways to Build Rapport in a Job Interview

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One of your most important tasks as an applicant in a job interview is to convince the interviewer that you would be someone enjoyable to work with. To do so, it’s important to work on establishing rapport, a comfortable relationship, with the interviewer. You still need to get across why you’re the best candidate for the position, but by creating a strong personal connection with the interviewer, you can bolster your chances of landing the job. To do so, try the following:

Know what’s happening at the company.

By making yourself aware of the company’s most recent successes, often by viewing its press releases, you can build rapport with the interviewer by demonstrating a genuine interest in what they do.

Use small talk to create a connection.

The bulk of the interview will be about you and how you’ll perform as an employee, but there’s usually an opportunity either early or late in the interview for a little small talk. During this time, ask the interviewer questions about how he or she joined the company or about the project of which he or she is most proud. Doing so may help you create a more meaningful connection.

Focus on your interviewer.

It can be tempting to start thinking about what you want to say next during an interview, but spending all your time searching for opportunities to work in a predetermined set of points can make it harder to build rapport. Listen actively to what the interviewer says, and make sure your body language reflects your interest. Smile, lean forward, and make comfortable eye contact.

Take advantage of similarities.

If you discover that you and your interviewer have a similar background, like a previous employer in common or the same alma mater, try to tell stories that highlight that connection. When you can, answer questions by referring to experiences you had at that shared point. Doing so will help make the discussion between you and the interviewer more personal.

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