Job interviewers aren’t as difficult as you think. Obviously, sometimes they can give you hell in the sense that they can make you feel extremely anxious, but that is just a natural emotional response to the prospect of meeting someone you don’t know for the first time. To eliminate stress and perform better in interviews, you have to do a lot more than give a strong handshake. You need to make sure you build strong rapport with your interviewer.
Learning how to connect with your interviewer will allow you to build trust and as such put you in a better position to make them like you. Once you understand how you can make a connection with the interviewer, you will feel more relaxed and the conversation will flow more naturally. This should work in your favour as it will allow you to give answers to the questions the interviewer asks that aren’t rehearsed or made-up. Your goal here will be to help the interviewer feel at ease and get more talkative. In return, this should help you talk about yourself and skills more effectively.
So here are some tips that can help you instantly connect with your interviewer.
1. Try Mirroring
The job interview shouldn’t be all about you. It is a chance for you to prove that you are a good fit for the job, but it’s also an opportunity for the interviewer to meet you and figure out what your intentions are. So forget about yourself for a while and focus on the interviewer. Try to understand what they are feeling and look for clues through their facial expressions, hand gestures and posture.
How expressive are they? Are they talking with their hands? Find out what they are doing and then imitate their moves. This is all about mirroring. If you mirror his moves and you start talking with your hands it should help you and the interviewer feel more comfortable with each other, break down your defense mechanisms and relate to him as appropriate. Likewise, if you think that the interviewer is more serious or reserved do the same.
2. Retain Eye Contact
During the interview, it’s important to retain eye contact with the person you are talking. This will show the interviewer that you are interested in what they are saying and want to learn more information. If you are feeling stressed, nerves will make you want to look away and not directly in the eyes of the interviewer but try to resist the temptation. If you look away for more than a few seconds either to observe your surroundings or think about an answer, you are more likely to lose the game.
3. Ask Questions Early On
Asking questions is a great way to connect with the interviewer, and the good thing is that you don’t have to wait for the end of the interview to do it. Most interesting conversations begin with questions, so don’t let the interviewer do all the hard work. Chip in, ask questions, learn what you want to know about the company and show genuine interest in what the interviewer is saying. Asking questions early on will help make the conversation feel more natural – and less boring, and will give you the opportunity to control where the discussion is going.
4. Pay Attention
In an interview, your excellent communication skills alone won’t help you get the job. Your listening skills will. Apart from observing what the interviewer does e.g. hand gestures and body language, you also need to pay attention to what he is saying and how they respond. This should help you understand what he is expecting from you and what kind of answers he is looking for. The interviewer’s choice of words will allow you to gain insight into what he wants and how he communicates his message. Then you will have a better chances of connecting with him at a much deeper level.
Your ability to connect with your interviewer will make you stand out from the crowd. Naturally it will also help you make a great lasting impression and influence employers to give you the job.
Do you know any ways to establish a connection with your interviewer? Feel free to share your knowledge in the comments section below!