What is the most important technique for an interview?

June 17, 2017


Recently I had the wonderful experience of being able to assist a dear friend with a job search after a six-year career break.  An articulate, friendly, intelligent woman who was a Chartered Surveyor pre-kids. After a six-year break her confidence on interviewing was at an all-time low.

Then a dream job came our way and she was the perfect candidate for it.

Planning sensibly to put some time in the diary together to go through some coaching on how to interview before her client interview, our plans fell to pieces when I was whisked away for a surprise ten-year wedding celebration, removing me from the country right up until the eve before her interview.

This resulted in my friend and I having a last minute furious conversation around what is the KEY to doing a good interview!?

The quick answer is in two words.

Empathy & Rapport.
The thing we so often forget when interviewing, on either side of the table, is that we are all human. Thus all the standard nuances of working with people, building friendships, influencing people, etc. relate directly to the interview experience.

To build empathy with someone you must understand who they are. Have you done your research? Do you know how long they have been with the business? Do you know their background? All of this is usually available on LinkedIn so there’s no excuse for not having some idea, even if limited, of who your interviewer is. Have you thanked them for taking the time to meet with you? Did you look happy to meet them when you first shook hands?

To build rapport remember that everyone likes talking about themselves! Ask questions. Good questions that demonstrate your curiosity but also questions that allow the person to talk about themselves. If they are a recruiter but new to the industry, ask them how they’re enjoying it? If they work for a business that wins awards comment on it and ask them what it’s like to work there? By building rapport with your interviewer you will place yourself in a position where they want to hear more about you, they want you to do well, they want to know all about your experiences. Common sense says that an interviewer should want to do all of this to begin with. However we are all human beings and building rapport can make a world of difference in an interview situation.

There are many things involved in doing a great interview – but start with the most important two – Empathy. Rapport.

(And by the way, my friend got the job!)

This blog was supplied by Stephanie Dillon Founder & Director of Inclusivity Partners.

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June 17, 2017

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