In this livestream “Get Hired By Building Relationships With Employers” we discuss key strategies for building relationships with hiring managers, employers, and recruiters before your job interview.
We touch up on the various aspects of the hiring process and how to create rapport between you and those who work at the company you hope to work at.
Find Common Ground
To do this you'll want to do a quick internet search on the name of the interviewer or hiring manager if you know their name ahead of the interview. LinkedIn is usually a great place to start. Once you find them, look for some common threads between you two. Same school? Same industry? Same first job? Similar internship? Same (gasp!) hometown? Whatever it may be leverage that for establishing common ground with the person who'll be interviewing you.
Do Your Research
This is an important step for two reasons. One it provides background on the person so that you can find common ground. And two, if there does not appear to be any evidence of common threads interwoven in each of your lives, then you might learn about their possible interests, hobbies or passions. And once you learn what their interests are you are in a better position to ask them questions pertaining to their interests.
Ask (Personal) Questions Based on Subtle Sharings
Sure, there will be time for Q&A at the end of the interview at which point you'll ask the ones that you've prepared ahead of time (*hint, hint*). But what's different about these types of questions is that they can sprout organically from the conversation you're having. Pay attention to when they are making small talk and their face lights up about something more personal they share with you. This might be their new Peloton subscription, a child's recent birthday party, a current podcast they're enjoying. Anything that they share with you that gives you a glimpse into who they are as a person. Picking up on these (albeit subtle) clues will serve as a marvelous springboard off of which you can jump into a more personal question to establish rapport. Now, we say “personal” questions because there's the blatant dichotomy of personal vs. professional. Use good judgment here. This is why it's important to be practicing active listening and be cued into subtle sharings. Base your question(s) on what they share with you to establish that personal connection. If they don't bring up children, don't ask about children. If they have a clear injury (maybe they're walking unevenly) do not point that out unless they do first. Only inquire or discuss what they've alluded to first. This is generally a good rule of thumb when asking those “personal” questions.
Through smiling and open body language, show your genuine and authentic self. If you're not much of a smiler, don't sweat it. Express facial expressions that reflect who you are. If you're a natural scowler, then scowl away…just kidding, don't do that. In all seriousness, you want to have a pleasant demeanor, which can be successfully achieved through positive tones of voice and open body stance (think: sitting upright, shoulders back, a soft smile on your face, making eye contact.)
Make a Reason to Follow Up
Before you exit the interview, you want to find some reason to follow up. Again, this is why learning their interests and what makes them excited about life is so important. You can use it as fodder for follow up content. For example, say they were pumped about their new Peloton bike. Maybe you do Peloton to and have curated a playlist of your favorite workouts that you can share with them. Or maybe you have podcast recommendations to pass along to them. Whatever the case, be creative and attuned to their preferences. After all, they are human too and they'd love to reconnect with you if you clicked in the interview. Also, the followup does not have to be an electronic exchange. It could also be an in-person meeting like a hike you go on together, a Peloton bike ride you do together in-person or virtually together. It could also be a coffee meeting. Don't limit yourself to virtual-only communication if you don't have to.
Memorable Follow Up
At the of any interview, it's always a good idea (in fact, it's often expected) that the interviewee follows up with the interviewer. But instead of doing a boring “thank you for the interview…blah blah blah)” generic thank you email, which they receive by the dozens this is where you can be more memorable. In some scnearios, you send the follow up content (think: more personal, more human) after the thank you note and sometimes you send that in the thank you note. It really depends. And as we already mentioned, sometimes that “reason to follow up” is an in-person get-together.
So there you have it, some ways to create good rapport with the interviewer, hiring manager, and recruiter who is involved in the hiring process.
The key is to be genuine, be yourself, and be attuned to what they share with you.
Remember, they are just as human as you. Treat them like someone you could establish a connection with and keep the balance between personal and professional. You can still be professional while leveraging that human connectivity we all thrive on.
Good luck with your hiring process!
Happy Explearning ⚡