If you’ve completed your Beyond.com portfolio, you may be familiar with the section that references “Your Beyond Moment” – an open-ended space where you can share your best career triumph to date. Whether it was landing your dream job, organizing a company sponsored charity event, or winning your company’s annual Halloween costume contest, these “Beyond Moments” all became possible because at one point you successfully navigated your company’s interview process. While general interview tips and suggestions are very important, this post will focus solely on ways to build rapport during an interview. Here are the top three tips you can implement while in your next interview:
- Be Enthusiastic: Displaying a positive attitude and demeanor is infectious in an interview setting. Show genuine excitement about the opportunity and be passionate about the role. Considering an interviewer probably will be meeting with other candidates while searching for the right fit, being enthusiastic and positive will be memorable and help set you apart from your competitors. You still want to be professional and polite, but you should also try and show your personality and have a real interaction with the person on the other side of the table. Remember that this may end up being someone you work with on a daily basis, so showing your personality will give you both a better sense of what your daily work interactions may be like.
- Ask Questions: A similar thread to being enthusiastic and positive is staying engaged with the interviewer through well prepared questions. Be sure to research the company as a whole as well as the role itself (if possible) to understand the nuances of any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that may affect the company. Asking intelligent questions that show you are prepared will give the interviewer another reason to remember you in a positive way. While most questions about the position, the department, or company are welcomed, avoid asking about the salary in the first interview. You don’t want to give the impression that you only care about the money rather than the actual position you may acquire.
- Mind Your Body Language: Body language can play a huge role in building rapport with your interviewer. Be sure to speak in a clear, calm voice and maintain eye contact throughout the interview. Remember to smile and try avoiding any aggressive or unorthodox movements while you speak. Take note of the body language of your interviewer and practice subtly “mirroring” their movements, actions, or cadence. Studies have shown that mirroring is a great way to build a connection with someone new and leave a positive impression in their mind for future interactions. First impressions are extremely important – you don’t want to ruin your chances by not minding your body language!
The stress of a job search will most likely be amplified during an interview so it’s extremely important that job seekers follow these three rapport-building strategies. Practice makes perfect so it’s not a bad idea to do a mock interview with a friend or family member ahead of time. Practice your questions for the interviewer and pay close attention to the body language you display. Honing these skills will ultimately help you ace your next interview!