Top Tips on Building Rapport in an Interview

4 years ago


In my experience both as the interviewer and the interviewee, I cannot stress enough how important rapport is in an interview…

The dictionary definition of rapport is:

“A close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.”

Basically, two people getting on and having common interests. This is hard to get across when you have an hour/half hour slot to prove your worth.

Here are my top tips on how to build rapport in interview;


Before the Interview


Research the company

As you know, it is common practice to look into the company before your interview (don’t know what I mean? Click here to check out our infographic on conducting a successful interview), but getting to grips with where the company has come from, where it is going and what drives it forward gives you more to talk about in the interview than just the vacancy.


Research the interviewer

As we all know, interviews are scary, as your aim is to convince a stranger that you are perfect for their role. But what if they aren’t a stranger? Do some research into the interviewer before you attend. Do they have a profile on their website? Are they on LinkedIn? This will give you some context when trying to relate to them in interview. You never know, you may share a common interest, or come from a similar background.


Understand the company values

Here at Cummins Mellor, when we recruit internally, we look for our CORE VALUES in each candidate. As a result of this, everyone in the business aligns their behaviours and attitudes by demonstrating the same 5 core values. Most companies have such values, and if they do, they are easy to find on the internet. Knowing these will put you in good stead with any interviewer.


During the interview


Ask open-ended questions

Interviews are not just about answering set questions to prove that you are the right candidate for the role, it is also an opportunity for you to ask the interviewer a few questions. Get to know them, how long have they been with the business? Why do they enjoy working for the company? Find out what makes them tick, and talk about that. Interviews where the conversation flows between two people are always a positive experience for both parties.


Mirror body language and tone


I recently read an interesting article about mirroring body language. It stated that “Mirroring body language is a non-verbal way to say ‘I am like you, I feel the same’”. Make a note of their body language, and mirror this when appropriate. There are many articles online about mirroring body language, and I strongly recommend you have a read.


Find common ground

This may be a long shot, but I always click with interviewees with common interests whether it’s pets or what hobbies we both have. This can be difficult as you won’t want to walk into a room announcing your pet preferences, or what team you support! You may not find something in common with every interviewer you meet, it may not seem appropriate, but it’s a bonus, which leads me on to my last point…


… Listen!

Not just to the questions, pay attention to what the person is saying, and find a topic you can talk about that’s not necessary related to the job in hand. You will seem more personable, and this will add an extra dimension to you when the interviewer is looking back and shortlisting.


After the Interview


After the interview, I would suggest following up with an email and thanking them for their time. It’s that little extra touch that shows that you recognise the time and effort gone into interviewing you and that you are grateful. It will speak volumes about your attitude and personality, and more often than not lead to a nice response!


So there you go, my top tips on building rapport in interviews. If you have any tips of your own, let me know!

All I can suggest is be yourself, be personable, and take an interest in the person interviewing you. They may end up being your future boss!

Looking for your new role? Or looking for a candidate to join your business? Speak to a member of the CM team today!

01254 239363



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