Do you have rapport?
Many times, during our training courses, I will ask attendees, ‘what makes a good interviewer?’ A variety of topics, traits, and characteristics often arise, but one response consistently comes forward; the ability to build rapport. So, what is rapport?
Rapport is creating a relationship in a very short period of time. How do you build rapport? One of the ways you build rapport while conducting interviewers is quite easy and is achieved by asking a simple question, “Can you tell me something about yourself?” The way I ask that question is that I tend to offer it up with reciprocity. I will say, “Let me tell you about myself.” I share a little bit, then I 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 your subject to open up.
The reason this works in terms of rapport-building is that when you ask them about themselves, and they are willing to share (“Oh, I’m married, I’ve got a family, my kids are involved in these activities, this is what I do for work” etc.), now you can share a common bond. Now you have a sense of who the individual is and you could share a common interest. By sharing a common interest, you tend to build rapport because you become much more like them than they realise. 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
Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates