July 6, 2023
In interviews, interviewers will typically not remember all of the interview. However, you can guarantee they will remember two things: first impressions and lasting impressions. Here’s how to make sure that you successfully cultivate a personal connection with your interviewer and leave an impactful and lasting impression.

Creating a Personal Connection

The most important thing you’ll need to consider in order to have an impactful interview is creating a personal connection with your interviewers. Here are three key ways you can do that:

Let Your Personality Shine Through

First and foremost, expressing your personality allows genuine connections to be cultivated in interviews. Your employer or interviewer is not looking for a human form of their website, but rather, they are looking for someone who will be a great addition to the team and wider work culture. 

This is mainly determined by assessing your personality and character. It’s good to show your knowledge, but what is more important is showing how your personality aligns with their values. This is achieved by personalising your answers and adding anecdotal touches throughout your interview.

Opportunities to express your personality are not exclusive to questions that interviewers ask about your personal life outside of work. For example, talking your interview through how you worked something out or your rationale behind a decision can help demonstrate your working style and skills.

Tell Your Story

So how can you best express your personality in an interview? Tell your story! The best interviews – the ones that feel like a conversation – are ones where the interviewer can see aspects of themselves in you. These similarities are not just regarding shared backgrounds or physical attributes, but also shared personality traits, passions, ways of working, etc.

By telling your story, you help the interviewer understand you on a more personal level and heighten the potential for impactful connection. It also allows you to convey genuine passion and career motivation.

Story-telling is not just what you say but how you say it, how you make the audience feel, what they can relate to, etc. What pivotal moments in your life brought you here? What moment sparked your interest or changed your general passion to a career passion? Also, talk about your strengths and what your story made you realise about them. For example, what did your upbringing teach you about your abilities? How did you cultivate this, as a result?

Find out more about why stories work

Talk About Your Passions Outside of Your Career Path

Talking about your passions outside of work, like extra-curricular activities, is a great way to provide evidence of your skills and show your potential for success. It’s also a great way to show that you are someone who can excel as an employee but also a peer. It shows that you’re not solely job-oriented, but well-balanced and inter-personal.

Find out more here

Practical tip – Spend time thinking about these questions:

  • What is your source of joy?
  • What do you wear as your badge of honour?
  • How do you positively impact your communities?
  • What pivotal moments in your life brought you here?
  • What moment sparked your interest or changed your general passion to a career passion? 

Commercial Awareness Interviews

Find out how to demonstrate your commercial awareness in interviews

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Body Language & Using Your Words

Use Your Hands

Interviewers tend to pay attention to enthusiasm, which is mostly expressed in your body language. Therefore, use moving your hands to your advantage and include them in your ‘story-telling’. Using your hands, allows you to further captivate your audience. It can also help you to stay in control of your body language and pace your speech. 

Control Your Tone & Pace

When people are nervous and speak quickly, their voice is often at a higher pitch and their shoulders are hunched or tensed. By consciously lowering your tone and relaxing your shoulders, it allows you to stay in control of your pace and appear more relaxed.

Practical tip – Practise using this method and speak to a friend, colleague, etc., about something you’re passionate about for a few minutes. After your short presentation, ask them for feedback.

Keep It Simple

It is important that your interviewer understands what you are saying, so that you can be impactful. Not only is it important to speak slower, but it is also important to use vocabulary that isn’t too wordy or difficult to understand.

You may have memorised certain words or phrases to impress your interviewer, but keeping what you say simple is a good way to keep your audience engaged. It also means that you do not have to stress about conveying information in a certain way or remembering those phrases by heart.

Ask The Right Questions

Everyone knows what comes at the end. The dreaded question‘Do you have any questions?’ Whilst it may seem like the assessment part of the interview is over, the question you ask at the end can have a lasting impressions. Moreover, when done right, it provides opportunities for more conversation and to mention anything you thought was important but, for some reason, you were not able to talk about before.

The question(s) you ask should make the interviewer self-reflect or get them thinking on a deeper level. Your question(s) should also convey your passion and knowledge of the company, but not in an impersonal way.

For example:

  • Given the current cost of living crisis, Russian sanctions, technology trends, etc, how do you think your area of work will be impacted? What work do you expect to see more or less of?
  • What trends do you think you will see in your company’s industry/area of work over the next few years?
  • What is the most impactful deal you have worked on, and why?
  • Why did you decide to stay at the company and (progress to senior level)?
  • What differentiated this company from its competitors when you chose to apply?

In conclusion, interviews are platforms to expand your CV, but they also allow the company to put a ‘face’ to your application. Use your interviews as a chance to create a personal connection and to demonstrate first-hand how you work and innovate. 


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