3 Tips for Establishing Rapport During an Interview

August 3, 2016

4:40 pm

Dana Stalder, of Matrix Partners, recently discussed the best ways to conduct an effective interview, drawing on hiring workshop conversations with Burton Advisors. According to his recommendation, a properly structured interview process leads to a more data-driven selection process, since the interviews are easier to compare and the details are more memorable.

But three of the tips in a section about building a rapport are particularly interesting: They can be applied to both members of the process. The interviewees want rapport just as much as the interviewers. Here are the tips, and why they’re applicable to both.

1: Look for Cues in the First Few Minutes

The article focuses on energy levels, but this is a great time to scope out additional factors like uneasiness, how dressed up they are, or if they’re on time. And if they give a lame excuse for why they’re late, that’s even worse. The less desperate either of you are, the better it’ll go.

2: Be the Normal Version of Yourself

Here’s my favorite tip. From the article:

“A lot of driven and Type-A people can unknowingly intimidate a candidate by bringing an interrogation-type energy into the room. Focus on gathering information now, and save judgment of the candidate for later. Keep in mind, the candidate only knows you based upon the time spent during the interview. You don’t want anyone to think, ‘If I end up in this job, I’m going to have to deal with this every day?’”

This is definitely something I’ve struggled with as a candidate: I feel like I need to come across as the perfect fit for the job, even though I might easily not be. But if it’s not an act that I can keep up for the entire time I’m working somewhere, then it’s not worth keeping up during an interview.

3: Be Genuinely Interested

Skim the candidate’s resume beforehand, or if you are the candidate, check out your interviewer’s past history and accomplishments. Look for facts that you actually care about learning more on and that are relevant to the position. Then ask for more information on them during the interview. Landing that genuine interest will build a rapport, and a rapport is a fantastic way to stand out from every other candidate.

Image: wocintechchat.com

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He’s based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state’s slogan: “sayWA.” In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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