When in an interview, of course you want to come across as the most memorable candidate in the most positive way and to make that interviewer want to work with you above anyone else. So it helps if you can make a strong connection with that person. But how do you manage it effectively?
- Use the sincerest form of flattery. As you carefully observe your interviewer, do what you can to subtly imitate their behavior and body language, a tactic called “mirroring.” Do they use their hands to gesture as they speak? Do they sit leaning to one side? Is their demeanor high energy or more reserved? You don’t have to change your personality but simply adjust it so it reflects theirs – this will help the interviewer feel connected to you and comfortable with you, and the conversation will become more natural. The key is that subtlety – if it’s too obvious, the interview can go the opposite way and become awkward.
- Make a personal connection. This is where knowing the name of your interviewer(s) ahead of time can truly help you if you look up their background. It’s acceptable to check out their LinkedIn profile (same connections? same educational background? similar job histories?) and the company website/social media sites to see if they did anything with the company recently (gave a speech, wrote a blog piece, worked with a new client). Then see if you can naturally bring up the connection at some point in the interview. Or, again, listen carefully to what the interviewer talks about, and find common ground to discuss. Connecting with the interviewer on this level makes you more memorable when decision time comes around.
- Ask the right questions. It’s always a good idea to have questions ready to ask in an interview. Some places give you a chance to ask at the end, but it doesn’t hurt to pepper them throughout, should the opportunities present themselves. As you listen (notice a theme here?) to your interviewer discuss the position, for example, demonstrate your interest early on by asking about how your role works within the company. Asking questions as the interview progresses helps keep the conversation flowing as well. And it doesn’t hurt to ask the interviewer what they like best about working there – it allows him to speak well of his company and gives you insight as to what you can expect.
Connecting with your interviewer isn’t hard if you lay a little bit of ground work ahead of time, and if you can make it happen without seeming obvious, it will give you that much of an edge against other candidates. For help with interviewing strategies, reach out to the PrideStaff Thousand Oaks staffing experts.