How to Build Instant Rapport in an Interview
The Green Apple Podcast is going to start doing weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments will be released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher.
This week, John and Rachel discuss a Wall Street Journal article, “How to Build Instant Rapport in an Interview: Small talk can have a big impact on the outcome; tips from bartenders and comedians” by Sue Shellenbarger.
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John: So Rachel, thank you so much for taking time to walk with me again today.
Rachel: Oh, it’s my pleasure, John. We had a lot of fun last time and so I’m glad to be back, for sure.
John: Absolutely! Well, I needed a copilot for this little burst and you’re perfect for it. We had a lot of fun and I think people enjoyed your episode especially. Just this past week I talked with Holly DeVito and she was really great too. And when I was talking with her it reminded me of this article in The Wall Street Journal that I read and I went and looked it up and it was “How to Build Instant Rapport in an Interview”. And Holly had mentioned during the podcast that your personality is what set you apart which I thought was really cool. And so then when I was reading that article it just talked about how showing your personality and being yourself is how you can actually build rapport especially at work and in a job interview and things like that.
Rachel: Yeah. So it’s one thing that you’ve already within your podcast, right. We know that personality is the thing that’s going to make people different especially in industries like accounting where it’s like “Okay, I do my tax returns the fastest.” These really aren’t things that you can jump from the rooftop that people are going to be really excited about but what they are excited about is about doing business with people that they connect to on a personal level.
The really interesting thing that I thought about that article though is that it basically said you had, what was it, like 30 seconds to 2 minutes to —
John: Right, and then it’s done.
Rachel: — display this personality, and then that’s it because then it’s off and into the interview, into the meeting, into whatever you’re doing. So how do you take this big personality that you might have or how do you take this thing that’s going on and squish it into that 30-second thing that is going to get people to connect to you.
So in your case and it’s really another interesting thing about that one is that specifically we’re talking about comedians and how between serving staff and comedians, they have this innate nature, they have this ability to connect with people really quickly. In your case then, how do you do that and how can non-comedians and non-serving staff do that so quickly or pick up on some of those things that we can connect to?
John: It has to do with just being genuine and being authentic and willing to be a little bit vulnerable and not have to be the smartest, coolest person in the room, but this is who I am sort of a thing and people can read that. When you go to a comedy show and the comedian is new or uncomfortable or whatever, you can sense it immediately, the crowd smells blood in the water and it’s over. It happens instantaneously so just the energy in the room and everything changes in an instant.
And as a public speaker even the same thing, when you’re in an interview, it’s the same situation, just the audience is one person instead of hundreds. The hard part there is just you start with just some small talk, just “Hey, I came in from this suburb” or “I grew up in this” and if you’re able to find some common ground especially in an interview, oh man, that’s magic. But even when you’re talking with clients, you’re talking with other coworkers, if you’re able to find a common ground then that’s unbelievably great. But even if you don’t find that common ground, at least you get to know each other on a more personal basis because you’re going to be working with that person for eight-plus hours a day.
Rachel: And social media is a really great place to kind of look into those, there seems to be kind of this constant discussion about like “Do I want to connect with my clients on social media; do I want to be that person that looks up the person I’m interviewing with on LinkedIn and they’re going to see that I looked at the profile”, that whole bit. But it honestly gives you insights to what some of those connections could be before you even meet the person so then by the time you meet them you can kind of hit the ground running when it comes to that.
John: Yeah, absolutely. Those are easy ways that people can do that and get the job offer. I remember when I was interviewing and I talked about in my keynote is the bottom of the resume was the most important part. 90% of my resume’s all work and education and then the bottom is community involvement, whether you volunteer, things you love to do, professional whatever. And I’ve talked to people to where they said that they were on the golf team and they ended up talking about golf the entire interview and talk nothing about work and then they got the job offer.
Rachel: Right. Well, in an interview, how you say “I get my tax returns done on time”, first of all that’s not interesting and it’s also not something that you can prove. But if you come across as a genuine person and a trustful person then people will want to be genuine with you and will want to trust you back.
John: Yeah, definitely.
Rachel: I would hire you.
John: Oh, you’re too kind, you’re too kind. Well, sweet, well cool. Well, this was really, really great and thank you so much for jumping back in with me and we’ll try and do this more often, and this was a lot of fun. So thanks, Rachel.
Rachel: Awesome. Thanks, John.