Having a well-crafted résumé is only half the battle when it comes to the job search. The other half involves the job interview, and while the ability to convey your skills to others is helpful, building a rapport with your interviewer is just as essential to getting the job.
Regardless of what people may say, human emotions do play a large role in the hiring process. They have to. An applicant may have all the skills in the world but not be a good fit for the company due to a bad attitude. Candidates need to be likable, and a good way to demonstrate likability is to win over the people who may offer you the job.
Here are some tips:
1. You can build rapport with the interviewer by asking some of the following questions at the end of the interview (for a list of questions NOT to ask, click here):
2. You should avoid making things too personal. Don’t allow yourself to get lost in the interview. The interviewer is not your friend, regardless of how well the conversation is going. Sharing personal stories could come back to haunt you. Something as innocuous as talking about your children and how much you like spending time with them may suggest that you aren’t interested in working long hours, which may be necessary for the job at hand.
3. Don’t badmouth anyone. Remember, you are trying to show that you will make a positive impact on the company. Bringing negativity into the interview has the exact opposite result. Speaking negatively about former managers implies that you do not get along with authority figures who criticize you. It also suggests that in the future you might speak poorly about management to co-workers. Both of these traits will be major red flags to employers.
4. Follow Up. You should always write a thank-you email to your interviewer. It’s important to personalize it to demonstrate that the conversation resonated with you. And, if there is a holiday approaching, make sure to wish the person well, etc. Your email should be professional with a friendly touch. It’s those little things that will allow you to stand out from other applicants.
There's a reason that so much career advice centers around the job interview: it's your one opportunity to make an impression in a face-to-face setting with the person who is standing between you and the whatever life goal you're hoping to achieve by landing the job. Regardless of that person's position, if they're part of the interview chain, they have the potential to make or break the process for you—so knowing how to impress them is a crucial part of the process, no matter how qualified for the position you happen to be.
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