Bonding and Rapport
The first step in the interviewing process is critical to gaining the trust and confidence of the interviewer. This first step requires your active participation in the conversation based on your ability to listen to the interviewer. The steps we recommend teaches you how to communicate with the interviewer in a way that makes them feel comfortable with you and increases your chances of getting a job offer from them. It takes a lot of practice and experience to pick all of the key points in this process so we suggest you not try to master them all in a short period of time, but simply pick 4 or 5 of those that seem to make the most sense to you and apply them to your interview opportunity. We recommend, in subsequent sections below that you take a written set of question on a notepad on which you can write down the components you want to remember and apply from this section.
Bonding and rapport is important because:
• people who are like one another, tend to like one another
• people who like one another, tend to trust one another
• people tend to do business with people they trust
• people want to be heard and understood
Active listening and participation is a communication process that enables you to enhance the way you communicate with a prospect by adjusting your style of speaking, body language, and sensory clues to mirror those of the prospect. This is a subtle art carefully applied so the interviewer is aware only of feeling familiar with which allows bonding and rapport to occur. If it is too overt it becomes condescending and will destroy bonding and rapport.
Psychologists, sociologists and other disciplines that spend that study people are in general agreement that few in our society get enough strokes so take advantage of this deprivation issue to compliment the interviewer. Examples: “Great question, I am glad you asked___, I like the way you think, I love the way you have decorated your office, thank you for the time you have invested in me, Your professional approach to interviewing is greatly appreciated, etc.” You cannot do enough nurturing as long as you are not being gratuitous.
Elements of communication
• spoken words
• body language
Active listening techniques
• restate the interviewer’s message (“What I heard/see/feel you are saying is 1)…2)… and 3)… did I get it right?”)
• paraphrase the message
Primary sensory dominance (PSD)
• Tonality: quality or character of sound
• Tempo: Characteristics rate or rhythm of speech
• Pitch: high or low sound
• Inflection: An alteration in pitch or tone of voice so that a word is emphasized
• Resonance: Intensification or prolongation of a sound
Body language (non-verbal communication)
• Facial expressions
• Body movements
• Eye contact
3 Elements of Communication
• Body Language 55%
• Tonality 38%
• Spoken Words 7%
Primary Sensory Dominance Indicators
Visual (sight)-55% of the population and process their environments in this way:
• are “show me” people
• process their environment through pictures
• tend to think, move and speak fast
• are very animated and use gestures while talking
• use visual terms in conversation: “I see,” “That looks like,” “I can visualize,”
Auditory (sound)-20% of the population who process their environments in this way:
• are “tell me” people
• think in words, sounds and dialogues
• represent ideas in their minds as conversations
• speak in even tones and with a steady rhythm
• are more comfortable with people who speak like they do
• are easily bored by monotonous speech
• use auditory terms in conversations: “I hear,” “Sounds like,” “You don’t say,”
Kinesthetic (touch/feeling)-25% of populations process their environments in this way:
• perceive they are influenced by how they feel about their reality
• make judgments on the basis of inner feelings of comfort/discomfort and on external experiences of touch
• breath slowly and deeply
• have low-pitched voices, and they speak at a slow pace
• use feeling terms: “It feels like,” “My gut tells me…,” “My intuition is…”
Introductory approach to the interview
(remember the steps by TTAP, see bold descriptors below)
Thank you for inviting me in to meet with you.
How much Time do we have?
Let’s fast forward 45 or 50 minutes (assuming you have an hour together, adjust for more or less time), What would you like to see, hear or feel about how I fit the position you are trying to fill? This is the interviewer’s Agenda: make notes and summarize to assure accuracy when they have completed. The Agenda will tell you what is important to the interviewer and, therefore, tell you what to emphasize about your skills, experience and/or personal characteristics for the rest of the interview.
The Purpose of the interview is get a yes, or no, or create a clear and distinct future (CDF) about what will happen next if there are other steps to be completed. This is how it should be presented to the interviewer: “This is not my first interview and I know if it is not yours. I want to make sure you are comfortable in telling me “NO,” especially if you should happen to like me, that I am not a fit for your position (see next paragraph for reasons why to ask for “NO”). I am okay with you telling me “NO,” therefore will you tell me “NO” if you do not believe I fit your position? By the same token, if I do not feel that I am a fit will it be okay with you if I tell you “NO” also. If you should decide that you need to think it over about how I fit, I am going to take that as a “NO” and close your file on this interview. I have learned from my business experience when people say think it over that really is a “NO” which they do not want do not want to tell me because it might hurt my feelings.”
The purpose of this approach is to make the process NOT look/sound/feel to the interviewer like you are trying to sell yourself to them. Asking for “NO” is a psychological concept called “pattern interrupt;” most people have created canned responses to sales people who are asking them for ‘yes’ to buy something. but they have not created responses for the ask for “NO'” approach. It also disarms the interviewer, takes the pressure off both parties in the interview, and makes it easier for them to open up their thoughts and feelings to enhance their communications with you about the skills, experience and personal attributes they need from the person they hire.
1. Preparing for the Interview
Before you walk into any interview, you should know as much as possible about both the company and the position for which you’re interviewing. In today’s internet world with all the information that is at your fingertips, there is no excuse for lack of research about the company you are interviewing with. Your search consultant will be able to brief you on the company, but you should search the web or the library for additional information. After you have done your homework, write down a list of questions to ask the employer. You should take those questions to the interview. Solid preparation demonstrates your interest in the company and your motivation to compete for the position. Our experience representing quality candidates, like yourself, is that employers will judge you more by the depth and intelligence of your questions than they ever will from a monologue called “how great thou art.” For example:
• Why is this position open?
• What do you need this position to accomplish for your department?
• What obstacles must be overcome for the person in this position to succeed?