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Building a rapport in an interview

Posted by
30 Jul 2014

The recruitment industry is all about building rapport and engaging with people, whether it be in an internal support role or at the higher end in a full recruitment consultant role. 

However, strong communication and relationship building isn't only important once you have secured a role.

Once you've mastered the beginnings of your job search - with a well written CV, perfected telephone manner and envy inducing cover letter - and achieved the end result of securing yourself an interview and to get in front of a potential employer, that's when the hard work begins! 

If you can't establish some kind of rapport with your interviewer, it's unlikely that you'll be in their mind when they come to making that final offer. It doesn't have to be over the top; just something subtle to demonstrate your 'likeability' factor and proving your ability to interact with your potential colleagues, managers and external stakeholders.

Here are a few of my tips on how to build initial rapport in an interview:

First impressions are crucial
If you don't get this part of your interview right, you are going to struggle with the rest of your meeting. It's important the interviewer has that initial positive gut reaction before the interview continues; plan everything from your wardrobe to your handshake beforehand to ensure you walk in with confidence.

Positive body language
It's expected most candidates will be a little nervous and is totally acceptable, but try to smile and make eye contact. Body language is extremely important - you need demonstrate you can engage with your interviewer, so lean in, focus and engage. 

Mirror and match
Try to match the speed and sound of the person interviewing and mirror their body posture where possible. Don't rush through your answers, and take time to think them through. 

Use the interviewer's name
People like to hear their own name to demonstrate that you are paying attention to them and your surroundings. Take a genuine interest in the person who is interviewing you and the organisation you're interviewing for.

Strike up a conversation
Small talk about the weather won't cut it in this situation. Establish some kind of common ground - whether this is your mutual interest in the company, shared education background, or birthplace - people like talking about themselves!

Combine all of the above and you're sure to be able to build a good rapport with your interviewer. Remember why you're passionate about the position, complete your research prior to your meeting, and keep in mind the importance of being personable.

If you require any further tips and advice about how to conduct yourself in an interview, visit our website where you will find a wealth of additional information - and good luck with your next interview!

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