By Marc Innegraeve
Whether you are dealing with a job interview, an interview to win a project or a journalist, you want to have the best possible contact with the interviewer. Here are 6 tips on how to master your connection with the person in front of you.
#1 Focus all of your attention to the interviewer
The interviewer is in front of you, not inside your head. Instead of focusing on your internal voice trying to memorise all the right answers, focus on the interviewer and their question instead. It will be so much easier to answer.
#2 You first communicate your emotions, subconsciously
How well you manage your emotions, will determine how well the interview will go. There are many different techniques within NLP to manage your emotions. Explore different ways and master those techniques that work best for you. If you train your internal dialogue before the interview with phrases like “I wonder how much he/she will like my answers”, instead of “I hope she/he doesn’t ask about …” you might even get some curiosity from both sides.
#3 Answer to the question, not your interpretation of the question
We all interpret what we hear and we filter all information that comes in. Our filters can change the questions easily into what we think the interviewer asked. If that happens, we will be answering the wrong question and loose connection. Be aware of your deletions, distortions and generalisations – your filters – and those of the interviewer. You can learn to recognise these filters and mostly it is a matter of attention to what the other person really says.
#4 Stop mirroring your interviewer's posture on purpose
It just looks silly and the interviewer might think you are trying to manipulate them. When there is real rapport, the mirroring will come by itself.
#5 Focus on elegantly matching voice and breathing instead
If your interviewer speaks fast, you will have to speak fast to connect. If your interviewer speaks slow, you will have to speak slow. The way they speak will also match their breathing. So when you match their rate of breathing, you will automatically match their rate of speaking. Training your breathing and taking up some voice coaching can help you gain more control over this.
#6 It's important to sit in an angle with your interviewer
Never sit straight in front of your interviewer if you can. It limits your view on the other person and it limits your subconscious to pick up those subtle cues of connection. Most people process their thoughts right in front of them, and you don’t want to be in those of your interviewer, specifically if it’s a negative thought. I always teach my clients to be under a 45 degrees angle with their interviewers.
Are you still having trouble connecting to your interviewer? Then before taking any interviews, start training on managing yourself and your emotions or take up some coaching. As we said before, the first and most important thing you communicate to anyone are your emotions.
Oh, and did we tell you to be genuine? If your rapport with your interviewer is good, they will be able to tell when you are telling the truth and when you are lying!