The Importance Of, and How To, Build Rapport in an Interview

  • Savannah Higgins
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Have you ever found yourself missing out on job offers and not understanding why? You have the skills, you have the tenure, and you have the drive! There must be some secret ingredient the other candidates are bringing to the table that you aren’t. Often a candidate can secure a job offer without even checking every skill-related box because they are able to connect with the hiring manager/team and build rapport. You may ask, “What is rapport?”

Rapport is defined as a friendly, harmonious relationship characterized by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy.

Simply put, rapport is a friendly relationship in which people understand each other very well.


Why is building rapport important during your interview?

Building rapport with potential future colleagues during a hiring process can increase your chances of getting the job. Hiring managers and other team members get the chance to see who you are through the broader characteristics you portray. We all know it looks good to ask questions about the job in an interview, but sometimes we don’t realize the importance of also trying to make more of a personal connection, such as a shared interest or hobbies; of course, make sure to exercise judgement regarding appropriate topics.  Additionally, engaging through active listening and body language, such as eye contact, can also help create a true connection.


How to build rapport during your interview?

  • If possible, try to mirror the interviewer’s body language. Always be yourself, of course, but people generally respond to those who seem to be engaged with them.
  • Echoing your interviewer’s responses demonstrates that you’ve listened and understood.
  • When appropriate, work in common interests by observing environmental cues, such as a sports pennant, a photo of a vacation where you have been too, diplomas, etc.
  • Ask about the company attractions and challenges beyond the function of the role to understand if your values and motivators align.


At the end of the day, you want to enjoy working with the people around you. By being your genuine self and building rapport in the interview, you will find quicker success in finding your next long-term home.