Connecting in Your Interview
Business is made up of people working together on an activity for the benefit of all involved: boss, employee, customer, the society at large hopefully! And the interview is an interactive opportunity for both employer and prospective employee to evaluate fit and decide if they want to collaborate on the company’s goals.
While hard skills may need to be verified, such as a software developer being able to coder efficiently, and while references should always be checked, the interview has other objectives beyond these.
People spend a lot of time together at work. All parties hope for a great cultural fit and personal flow with their colleagues. So how to you determine this in a single meeting? Some folks connect right out of the shoot. If you are shy or otherwise not instantly connecting, either as the interviewee or the interviewer, try some of these ideas on for size:
What about the job excites you and spoke to you? Again this can be from either side, in the form or a question or simply offered up in the conversation. Ask/tell about the upcoming campaigns or projects that this role entails.
Ask/tell about the expectations for performance on the job, for example in the first 3 months on the job, and on a yearly basis. Setting clear expectations makes to easier to assess and fulfill goals, and introduces the opportunity to discuss accountability.
Showing your appreciation says a lot about what kind of person you are. This is highly personal and contextual, but one might share their appreciation for their team or a project they’ve worked on; you could express thanks for the opportunity to meet, or gratitude for a mentor who helped further one’s career. There’s no shortage of things for us to be grateful for in this life.
Laughter is the best medicine; a smile and a chuckle can go a long way to breaking tension, revealing personality, and fostering ease. Humor is a great way to warm people up and kick start an easy dialogue. Putting people at ease is a great way to show your likeability, and facilitate connection.
All of the above should be clue you into the personality of the person you are interviewing with.
- If they are a Power (Choleric) person, better to focus on what you can do for the organization or what you expect of the candidate. The Power person is future-oriented, and wants to hit the high points and move on.
- The Party (Sanguine) person is focus on now and is very enthusiastic but not always constant. Passion and attention resonate with Party people.
- The Peace (Phlegmatic) person is not an extrovert but is concerned with everyone getting along, they are not big risk takers, like Power and Party people and like examples from the past to reassure them about the present; references, especially from people in their network go a long way.
- The Perfectionist (Melancholy) is data-driven and organized, may be fairly reserved, and you may not notice the intensity at first glance. These people want to hear your quantifiable achievements but they also want to hear the ins and outs of the problem-solving you employed along the way.
Once you get an idea of the personality type you are interacting with, try to adapt to their energy and relational style in your dialogue and expression. Meeting people in their own style helps you to communicate with them and facilitate the connection that makes a difference in all relationships.