Interviewing is like dating. When you meet someone new, there are tangible and intangible factors that you consider when weighing up if this person could be a good prospect.
The tangible factors are like their CV.
Have they worked at reputable organisations? (Are they attractive?)
Do they have a stable work history? (Are they successful?)
Are they actively involved in the community (Are they fun?)
Do they have strong references? (Do they have a good reputation?)
The intangible factor is the chemistry that’s hard to describe but easy to recognise. That will also, probably, determine whether you want a second date.
The same is true in the world of job interviews. I’ve found that there are three main factors that determine if you’ll progress through to a second interview:
- Your technical competence to perform the role as required;
- Your ‘fit’ for the role and the organisation, which includes cultural fit, but also the alignment of your own ambitions and requirements with the nature and trajectory of the role; and
- Whether your interviewer likes you, or feels some professional chemistry.
From the 1,000+ interview processes that I’ve been involved in, I would place point C as easily the most reliable indicator of interview success.
Whether you call it chemistry, rapport, ‘click’, or just mutual regard, organisations will bend over backwards to find ways to accommodate people who manage to connect with their interviewers on an interpersonal level. That includes adapting the role’s requirements, salary and level of seniority to fit the person.
For something so critical in determining your success in an interview process, it’s important not to leave anything to chance. There are simple strategies you can employ to ensure you’re maximising your chances of building that all-important rapport.
My next article will explore these in detail.