How To Make A Connection During Job Interviews
A strong results-driven resume can help you get your foot in the proverbial door. But after that, you’re on your own.
Even the most compelling, well-designed resume is not a “silver bullet.”
There are a lot of ingredients to a successful job interview. Know your resume cold. Prepare to answer the most common interview questions.
The secret sauce, however, is making a connection with the job interviewer. To do that you’ll need to build rapport, communicate effectively, and end the interview on a high note.
#1 BUILD RAPPORT
Finding common ground and showing interest will help you quickly connect with the job interviewer.
Look for things you have in common like:
- Sports participation or favorite teams
- Interest in the arts or entertainment
- Attended the same college or university
- Share a volunteer cause
- Support or member of same organization
Seek out common ground during your pre interview research. Review the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile, bio on the company’s website, and search online.
Search your name as well, to avoid any surprises. Then set up a Google alert to monitor you.
Feigning interest is easy to spot. If you want to show genuine interest you need to learn something about the interviewer. By reviewing company’s media page along with doing a Google search you may discover that the interviewer is heading a new initiative or was recently promoted or won an award.
#2 COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY
Stop and Listen
Maintain focus on the interview – don’t look down at your watch, out the window, at the books on the shelf, etc.
Don’t prepare what you’re going to say while the interviewer is still talking. Don’t let your mind wander. Ignore your inner voice when it starts asking “How long have I been here?” or “How many other people are they seeing?”
Pay Attention to Undertones
It’s not just what they’re saying. Do they sound interested? Friendly? Or are they just going through the motions? Do their eyes light up when they smile? Or is it the perfunctory smile at the end of the interview?
#3 END ON A HIGH NOTE
Most interviewers close an interview by asking the candidate if he or she has any questions. Your response will help them gage your interest in the job and company, and how much you prepared.
They don’t want to hear “No, I think you covered everything” or “No, I can’t think of anything” or questions you could have answered yourself if you bothered to review the company website.
They want to hear thoughtful questions about your role (what are you looking for in the person you hire? what will be your biggest challenges in the first 30 days?) and the company (how is the new initiative or product rollout going?)
Before you leave ask about next steps. Send a thank you note to everyone you met with. And follow up after the interview.
And be pleasant to everyone you meet. The receptionist and/or HR associate may be asked how you treated them. If you are interviewing in person, the person you meet in the restroom may be the interviewer.
Good luck with your job search!