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Building Rapport


Does anyone have any activities for building rapport for interview skills?  I am doing a session with a small group of senior managers who are under review. I have activities around competency based questions, communications and marketing yourself, but wanted something about building rapport with the interview panel.


3 Responses

  1. PDF

    Hi Mrandle


    If you send me an e mail I’ll forward you a pdf you might find useful.





  2. Mary Brunton

    Building Rapport in interviewing skills training.

    "Atmosphere" exercise. I run courses on interviewing skills for senior managers and one useful exercise focusing on Rapport  is to ask them (in breakout groups of 2-4) to identify what type of "Atmosphere" they want to create in the interview and what they need to do to acheive this .They usually come up with "Professional", "Friendly" etc and I flip these up .  We then explore how they will create these atmospheres (this covers welcoming techniques, setting the room up, opening remarks, icebreaker Qs as well as body language, tone etc).  This highlights that there is more to rapport than smiling!

    I usually stop to explore why different "atmospheres" suit some people and not others (asking for bad examples) and also check that they have a common understanding of what things like "professional" mean. This often reveals some assumptions but the learning here is that – as interviewers – they need to think about this in advance, have a common aim as a panel (no point is someone being energetic and pally whilst the others are being very "businesslike") and be prepared to flex their style to accommodate each interviewee.  

    Once we have the atmospheres up on the flip and have identified the key elements I work with actors (as candidates) and get a couple of participants to take turns to pick an atmosphere they want to create and run the first 90 seconds of the "Meet,Seat and Greet" element of the interview.  I then ask the participant what went well and the actor then gives feedback about what it felt like. You might extend this by asking that actor (if used) to guess what atmosphere the participant was trying to create and – if they have not managed it – what was missing.

    If you don’t have actors I am sure you could adapt this by getting volunteers from the organisation.    Mary

  3. Mary Brunton

    Building Rapport for INTERVIEWEES

    I recently provided a rapport exercise for senior managers who are interviewing staff but in reading the question again I think the request was for exercises to help Interviewees build rapport with the panel. I do a lot of coaching for senior managers running for interview and here is an idea that has been useful and might be useful as a basis for an exercise.

    "What attracts you to this job?"

    This is a practice session (and can be done in the full group or 3s) to deal with the inevitable opening question. Rather than focusing on competence and skill it looks at building rapport by reflecting back the language used by the interviewer. So the first stage is to get everyone practicing how to really listen to the first question and reflect back the key language e.g. the word "attraction" as used above rather than launch into some preprepared speech.

    I then look at VAK language and get the coachee to identify their preferred style of language – we then practice all 3 types of language so they can flex their style. The learning here is all about listening, self awareness and flexibility and the aim is to build rapport by literally "talking the same language" as the interviewer.

    Good luck







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