Business shaking hand with a client in office

How to Establish Rapport in a Job Interview

Business shaking hand with a client in officeA job interview can be the final lap in your job search race. It is the be all and end all meeting where your behaviour and diction are judged and critiqued by an individual or panel.

It is not just your answers that will win your way. There are many other psychological factors that can make a striking impact and position you as the No. 1 candidate. One of the most important is the rapport you develop with the others in the room. Unconsciously or consciously, this will impact their hiring decision.

During the introduction, look the interviewer(s) straight in the eye, smile, and give them a welcome and thanks. Support this with a good and firm handshake. You are now starting to build rapport, without hardly saying a word.

An interview is not a one-way street. It’s where two parties meet to discuss if there is a mutual business relationship. To maintain a good flow of conversation and advance your candidacy, arrive with a list of prepared questions for the interviewer.

A few days prior to the interview, try and find out the name of the interviewer so you can look them up on LinkedIn to uncover facts that could lead to a meaningful and profitable dialogue. Perhaps they’ve worked for one of your previous employers, or attended your university or college.

This kind of deep research is crucial to you winning the competitive edge over the other candidates selected for the final interview stages. We are fortunate today to be able to research from our own home.

Look at the company’s Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to see what they’ve been posting most recently. Have they appeared in other platforms, such as national, regional or local media? Mention these details during the interview to expand the conversation further.

Yes, there is a lot on the line during a job interview. And I would be lying if I said you won’t be nervous. Yet you don’t want your nerves to make your interviewer uncomfortable or hinder any meaningful interaction.

To maintain your professional poise, take some deep breaths; eliminate fidgeting, twiddling your thumbs, and shuffling in your chair; and try to avoid filler words like um and ah.

Remember that interviewing isn’t high on the priority list of many people’s job duties. So they too may be nervous and want to be put at ease. Opening up a two-way dialogue leads to a more relaxed environment for everyone, and facilitates a true meeting of the minds.


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