Key Tip for Acing the Interview: Mirroring to Build Rapport
Imagine stepping into a deep conversation with a friend. You may share the same posture, hand gestures, tone and rate of speech. You can also tell when other people are in deep conversation by similarities in body language. What is happening is mirroring. It is subconsciously helping those in conversation maintain rapport through similarities observed from body language. There is a sense of ease talking with one another and a sense of the same mood.
Establishing good rapport is vitally important during a job interview and it may make the difference between getting an offer or not. Remember, people hire people they like so, the next time you find yourself in a job interview, apply the technique of mirroring to help you get a better handle of the other person and to make everyone feel at ease with the conversation that is taking place.
Mirroring is about observing the other person’s body language, which may include posture, hand gestures, facial expressions, tone, volume and rate of speech, and applying it to your body language. Of course, mirroring should be sincere and natural.
Keep in mind the following tips to help observe body language and apply mirroring subtly.
- Body Posture: Review body posture, which may include sitting upright, leaning forward and placing hands on the table. Wait at least 10 seconds after observing before making adjustments to your own body posture to match.
- Hand Gestures: Watch how your contact makes hand gestures when talking and, if applicable, do the same when it is your turn to talk.
- Voice: Review the tone, volume and rate of speech when your contact speaks and apply the same when you are responding with comment.
- Head Movement: Look out for head gestures such as a nod or tilt of the head and respond accordingly.
- Facial Expressions: Facial expressions may include a raised eyebrow or smile. Make a connection with your own facial expression to exemplify that you understand what the other person is saying and that you are engaged in the conversation.
Be careful though. If mirroring is not done sincerely, you can come off as dishonest and it can ruin your chance of making a positive impression. Take care in applying the tips above and avoid mirroring negative connotations in body language. Negative connotations may include crossing arms over the chest, looking at the clock or watch, leaning the chin on the hand, yawning and turning the body sideways.
Mirroring is a technique that is effective, easy to apply and offers a simple way for you to establish a connection in new ways by reinforcing perceptions and physical behaviors. Apply the technique during a job interview, networking, and many other instances in life to help build rapport and relationships with important constituents.