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INTERVIEWS

A matter of rapport

What is rapport?  Rapport is creating a relationship in a very short period of time.  One of the ways to build rapport while conducting interviews is quite easy:  ask a simple question.  Here’s how it works.  The question is, “Can you tell me something 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, you can create and share a common bond.  Now I have a sense of who the individual is and I could share a common interest.  By sharing a common interest, we tend to build rapport because I’m much more like you than you realise.

Some of you might think, “Chris, 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.”  What I’ll ask you is 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.” 

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 Europe

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