Building Rapport with Your Interviewee
It is important to build rapport with your interviewee so both parties feel a positive connection during the interview process. Rapport may be demonstrated in a few ways, including active listening and body language. Your interviewee may be nervous or unsure during the interview and it is your task to make them feel as relaxed as possible so that their focus will be on the interview instead of their nerves. In this section, you will get tips on active listening.
Active listening is a key skill in a job interview. It means more than not speaking at the same time as your interviewee. You have to be actively processing what you hear and responding appropriately. Below are some ways you can use to demonstrate that you are actively listening to the interviewee.
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This is a way of restating what the interviewee has said in your own words. It shows that you have been listening attentively and have understood them. It is useful for checking your understanding and allows the interviewee a chance to clarify what was said. Paraphrasing may sound like this:
So what happened was…
You seem to be saying…
You’re telling me that…
Clarifying enables you to focus on specific detail that you did not fully understand. It may sound like this:
I don’t think I fully understand what you meant, could you…
I’m not sure if [X] or [Y] was the main push factor for you…
This method encourages the interviewee to elaborate more on a specific area. It may sound like this:
You enjoy managing teams?
You could also nod your head or say ‘aha’, ‘mm’, ‘yes’ or ‘OK’. However, refrain from doing these too often as it might give the impression that you are actually not listening but are pretending to.
At the end of a section of discussion, you may want to recap certain key points before proceeding to the next section. Similar to paraphrasing, it gives the interviewee a chance to clarify information and to agree on certain actions or decisions.
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