I read an article recently by Shana Lebowitz for Business Insider where we learn about how it may be possible to make someone relax and like you in 2 seconds. This could be a very useful skill when interviewing, so let’s take a closer look.
She talks of how we form impressions of each other’s personality within seconds of meeting — and knowing that fact can make approaching a new person incredibly nerve-wracking especially for an interviewee.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way for combatting the anxiety associated with meeting new people. The trick? Simple, just don’t think of them as new.
Instead, you’ll want to do what speaker and author Nicholas Boothman calls “assume rapport.” In other words, talk to the “new” person as if he or she were your cousin or your uncle — someone you feel happy talking to and you can be yourself with.
“It’s just a really great way to make someone feel comfortable with you,” he said. “Just talk to them like you’ve already known them.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean divulging the details of your weekend, just being relatable and to “find common ground,” or to uncover what’s similar between you both. In an interview it can be something as simple as the fact that you went to the same university or both worked at the same organisation.
The connection or common ground amongst people already exists so this assumed rapport is about how you find it and use it to get to know someone better in an interview setting.
So the next time you are interviewing a candidate, try to make them relax by assuming rapport. It should help them get over their nerves and give you a better understanding of their personality in no time at all.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss interview techniques further please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org