Interview Build Rapport

3 Ways To Build Rapport And Ace The Interview


People hire people they like. So, while your skills and experience are important elements to securing a job offer, your ability to build rapport in an interview is just as important. The rapport you establish during an interview can greatly impact the impression you leave behind. Here are some tips to help you ace the interview:

How To Build Rapport And Ace Interview

Building rapport occurs in many ways. In addition to having subject matter that you both can relate to, it’s also very much about body language. The handshake you offer when you first meet your contact, how you stand and sit, your facial expression and eye contact, to where you place your arms, hands, legs and feet is all part of body language to help establish the confident and engaged impression you want to leave with the interviewer.

The more engaged you are and the more similarities the interviewer sees in terms of your body language, the easier it’s to establish rapport.

Find out more on how to project effective body language during an interview from my blog post, “What Your Interview Body Language Reveals about You.”

Effectively building rapport is what gives many candidates the leg-up in the company’s interview process. Even if the candidate does not have as much experience as another candidate, he is seen as more favorable because he’s been able to connect with the interviewer in a way that is more relatable and can be seen as fitting along with the rest of the people at the company. Those who do the hiring want to know that the candidate is someone they themselves would enjoy working with.

Ace your interviews by applying confident and positive body language with relevant topics that help build effective rapport. You will come out of the interview leaving your contact with the best possible impression for consideration to a job offer. Meaningful topics of relevance to help build rapport during an interview include:

1. Current Events On The Company And/Or Industry

Before you go in for an interview, look over the company’s website for news events. Most company websites have a section with press releases. Did the company just sign a significant partnership, bring in a key individual from the industry or launch a new product? These are topics that can help build rapport and show you are on top of what’s going on at the company or industry.  It shows you have a sincere interest in the company.

2. Challenges Of The Position And Challenges The Company Faces

Asking questions about challenges and then turning around the discussion to clearly point out how you may have experience handling the issues is an easy way to show your contact that you have a desire to learn, face problems and bring solutions.

3. Information About Your Contact

Establishing small talk with your interviewer may be done by asking questions such how she came to work for the company or her experience with particular projects. If you are conducting an interview in your interviewer’s office, take note of any family photos showing children or locations you may relate you. You may draw up small talk simply by commenting on the beautiful smiles of the children in the photo, asking how old they are, and sharing information on the age of children you may have of your own.

You can also ask if a photo was taken at a certain destination and add comment on how it relates to you – whether it’s your hometown or if you went on vacation there recently. Small talk is a time where an interviewer can get a better feel for your personality and a chance to establish a stronger bond by showing how you two may have similarities.

Many questions during the interview may be standard and seem a bit rehearsed, so slightly stray from the norm with small talk during the earlier part or latter part of the interview.

There’s generally a clear sense of what is expected out of an interview. The employer wants to know how serious you are about this opportunity by your preparedness for the interview and what you can offer to the company through your skills and experience. Now, just let them know you are someone who can work well with the team and you will be on the right path to acing the interview.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Don Goodman

Don Goodman, President of Best Resume Writing Service - About Jobs is a nationally recognized career expert. Get a free career assessment from Don here.


  1. This is an excellent article yet I see other dynamics at play here. Notice in the first two comments made about this article, I can pick up the frustration Violet and Celia are experiancing. You are doing everything right yet it still doesn’t work. This is very deflating to the individual’s moral after a while which will show up on the interview unspoken but very much there and very noticeable. Out the total of interviews how many are honest which an applicant can depend upon?

  2. If this is all it takes to ace an interview and land a job offer, then I’ve aced all of the interviews I’ve had in the last 8 months (I think it’s 10). Instead, I still sit here jobless. It’s a “buyer’s market” these days. So many qualified people are not getting jobs, it simply doesn’t matter how well they interview.

    • Sometimes it isn’t about just building rapport. If you got the interview, you likely had the minimum qualifications. Sometimes people don’t get hired for reasons outside of themselves. Maybe you are head strong and the person that you will be working with doesn’t work well with head strong individuals. Maybe you are shy and an introvert and their last hire in this position was quite similar to you and didn’t succeed in the position leading the interviewer to believe that you also will not be successful.

      Don’t give up! Remember that you need to find the right fit for you and for the company. I searched for my career for a long time, but once I found it – it was worth it.

      • I couldn’t agree more.You can certainly do things to help “sell” yourself in an interview but sometimes you just don’t get chosen, not because you lacked the skills required for the position but you didn’t fit the culture of the company; regardless of the “gimmics” displayed. Nevertheless, you have to keep motivated and focused as the right position will come with the right company.

  3. I can relate to this article! Few years ago when I interviewed for my first career job, I used the opportunity to congratulate the company (interviewers) about their recent upgrade to their status as an organisation. I made this move towards the latter part of the interview and this really got us chatting for a while – in a more relaxed atmosphere for both myself and them. I had looked over the company’s website for news events, and that’s how I became aware of their new organisational status! After the interview, I also engaged the manager in some small talk about my interest in the job as he was leading me through the exit. I was offered the job 3 days later. The manager later revealed to me that they had scored me very high particularly after I congratulated them on the company’s new status – this set me apart from the other candidates even though some of them were more skilled and experienced than I was!

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