Building rapport can be easy if you try
One of the ways you build rapport while conducting interviews is quite easy: by asking a simple question. Here’s how it works. The question is: Can you tell me something about yourself? The way you ask that question is to offer it up with reciprocity. Simply say, “Let me tell you about myself.” You share a little bit, then you can say, “I’ll be telling you more about myself, but before I get into all that, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?” That encourages them to open up.
Some of you might think, “Wait, in the environment I work in, people aren’t going to answer that question. They’re going to look at me like I’m crazy.” Just consider this: do you think they’d rather talk about themselves, or why they’re sitting in front of you right now?
The other thing to consider is, you may be the first member of management to ever sit down with this individual and say “Who are you? What makes you tick? Tell me about yourself.” The thing about ‘me telling you about me’ is ‘I end up liking you, because you let me talk about me.’ People like talking about themselves. Giving someone that opportunity to talk about themselves and discover a common interest with you helps you build that relationship in a very short period of time. It helps you build rapport.
by Chris Norris, CFI