Making a good impression and connecting with an interviewer is important so the hiring manager can get a feel for how you interact with others professionally. While it is important to prepare for an interview with research and practice, think about strategies to relate to the interviewer on a personal level.
Start on the Right Foot
No matter how nervous you may feel, greet the interviewer with a warm smile and a firm handshake and say, “It’s very nice to meet you.” It is entirely appropriate to engage in a short bit of small talk before the interview. If you can find a commonality (a degree from your alma mater, a poster of your favorite sports team, a photo of a dog) in the office, use that to build rapport. If not, try something simple like asking how long the hiring manager has worked there to show you are interested in the interviewer as a person.
Mirror the Interviewer
Mirroring is the art of matching your demeanor and attitude of the person you’re talking to. You don’t have to do an impression of the hiring manager, but you should try to match your tone, pace and energy level to theirs. If the person is gregarious, amp up your own personality a bit. If they are more serious and subdued, turn it down. This does not mean you have to put on an act; quite the contrary. But adjusting your approach to match the hiring manager’s demeanor will allow you both to feel more at ease with each other.
Answer Their Questions
How many times have you seen a politician on the news who engages in verbal gymnastics to avoid answering a direct question? It’s frustrating. Hiring managers spend a lot of time listening to job candidates do that exact same thing. If you really want to make a good impression, answer every question directly and thoroughly, and avoid cliché answers like, “My biggest weakness is my perfectionism.” Your honesty and ability to communicate effectively will be a refreshing change.
While it is important to be professional, the best thing you can do to connect with your interviewer is to be yourself. You won’t do yourself any favors if you focus too much on trying to be someone you think the hiring manager wants to see. Interviewers can tell when someone isn’t being genuine so give them a feel for who you really are.
If you are an experienced IT professional seeking new opportunities and are ready to partner with a recruiter to jumpstart your search and improve your interview skills, reach out to PEAK Technical Consulting today or submit your resume online to get started.
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If you are looking for employers and opportunities that will take your IT career to the next level and help you to achieve your goals, contact a PEAK recruitment expert today.