Five Tips to Personally Connect While Interviewing
If you think about it, you want to personally connect while interviewing. The whole point of an interview is to get to know the person behind the paper. “The interviewer already knows you can probably do the job,” says Marcelle Yeager, U.S. News and World Report, “The question she’s asking herself during the interview is, ‘do I want this person on our team?’”
An interview gives candidates the chance to show their unique personalities and skills and how they may fit into the team culture. How a candidate’s personality jives with people in the interview room matters. Candidates can use these five tips to make personal connections with interviewers.
Tip #1 Know Who is Interviewing by Name
As an interview is being scheduled, ask for the names and titles of who will be conducting the interview. If you can get these names ahead of time, research each person’s role in the company and background to see what you may have in common. “When you are given the name of the person conducting your interview, the first thing you should do is research their role within the company,” says Jenna Arcand. “Find out as much as you can about their professional life: where they went to school, what roles they held before this one, and what big projects they’ve had the opportunity to work on.” If you went to the same college or have a mutual friend, try to mention this connection sometime during the interview.
If you are not able to find out names of interviewers ahead of time, it is critical you pay close attention to introductions. Artemis recruiters recommend candidates jot down names and titles based on where interviewers sit around the table. During the interview, candidates should address each person by name, so the conversation flows more naturally. If the name has an unusual pronunciation, ask if you are pronouncing it correctly as you address the person. During the interview, intentionally refer back to something “Dave” said earlier, so you make a personal connection by name.
Tip #2 Make Yourself Memorable
Each candidate hopes he has the experience to stand out in an interview, but companies also want to hire personality. It is ok to show an interviewer your sense of humor. Tell a story that people will respond to on a human level. It’s even better if the story links to something you accomplished with measurable results. Storytelling builds rapport and gives you that unique “it” factor.
Another way to be memorable is to ask specific questions that indicate your level of company knowledge. These questions can be based on the job description and your company research. A question about company culture can also lead to a more informal personal connection.
Tip #3 Connect with Nonverbal Cues
Most candidates realize the importance of eye contact, but what about posture and energy? Nonverbal cues reveal more about you than you realize. Match the interviewer’s energy level. Be positive, even when discussing a past job. Sit up and forward so you appear engaged. Do not interrupt. Show enthusiasm.
Being timely is another nonverbal cue. Throughout the interview process, quickly respond to emails and requests for information. A hiring manager will quickly go on to another candidate if you take too long to return a call or provide references.
Tip#4 Connect with a Thank You Email
A thank you email should be sent within 24 hours of the interview. It should be addressed to each person present in the interview and provide a short recap of why you are the person for the job.
Be sure to research the spelling of names and exact titles before sending. You may want to email each person in the interview separately, depending on the number of people present.
In your note, express appreciation for the interview and mention something specific that was discussed. This will trigger a connection made during the interview.
Tip#5 Send a LinkedIn Request at the End of the Hiring Process
It is expected that candidates will look up information about interviewers on LinkedIn before interviews, but candidates can research profiles anonymously by adjusting LinkedIn privacy settings.
Wait until the end of the entire hiring process to request an interviewer join your LinkedIn network. Even if you do not get hired, you can request the connection with a note thanking them for the interview.
Artemis Consultants understands the importance and power of personal connections in the entire hiring process. Choose us to help you find your next opportunity.