How to pass a graduate interview? That’s the million pound question. When you attend an interview for a graduate job, you want the interviewer to like you.
When they like you, it’s much easier to show them that you are a great fit for their company and the job.
If you don’t successfully build a good rapport with your interviewer, you simply won’t get the job.
You may have the right skills and some decent experience but at the end of the day, who is going to hire someone that they don’t like?
Wondering how to pass a graduate interview? It’s all about mirroring!
How to pass a graduate interview: By mirroring body language
You may have heard this before, but when we connect with someone we naturally start to mirror their body language.
It’s like we’re subconsciously showing that we have made a bond and that we understand each other.
A very basic example of this is that when they smile, you smile back – it’s a perfectly natural response.
However, while we naturally and often unknowingly use our body language to build rapport, in an interview situation you can consciously use mirroring to quickly establish a connection with your interviewer.
How to do it
The trickiest part about mirroring is to keep it natural.
If you copy everything your interviewer does exactly, it could seem a bit strange.
Instead, try to sit and act in a similar way to your interviewer and leave a 20-30 second gap between their action and your similar action.
For example, if they cross their legs, don’t cross yours right away but leave a bit of time before adjusting your position.
Do ensure that you are also only mirroring positive body language.
You should mirror a smile but not a frown and if your interviewer seems to be of a nervous disposition mirroring them will actually make you feel more nervous.
Mirroring language choices
When conducting your interview research pay special attention to the specific language the company uses on their website.
Using the same words and key phrases on their website can help give the impression that you are a good fit for their company.
Matching specific words and terminology will help you to connect.
For example, a company may have a few branches across the country, however instead of calling them branches they refer to them as a profit centre.
During your interview, you could mention how you’re keen to progress and like the fact that the company has X amount of profit centres that you could move between as part of your graduate scheme.
Mirroring language choices will make your interviewer feel like you’re already part of their team because you use the same terminology. This really is key if you want to know how to pass a graduate interview.
During your interview, your interviewer may also use some key phrases and terms so listen out for them and use them in your answers (naturally, of course).
Practice makes perfect
When you first use mirroring techniques it can feel a little weird. What’s important is that you don’t spend your whole interview focusing on mirroring rather than giving great answers.
To develop your mirroring techniques, ask a friend to role play a practice interview with you.
If you don’t feel comfortable with this, you could practice your mirroring during your everyday life instead.
For example, if you’re out for dinner with friends you can mirror their body language and language choices.
You can also use a mirror yourself to practice your answers to common interview questions, including language you have picked up on the company website.
Bringing it all together
It’s important to invest as much time and effort as you can to prepare yourself for a job interview.
Your preparation is likely to make the difference between receiving a job offer and getting rejected.
The good news is that if you have applied for a role that you are perfect for, within a company that matches your values, you’re much more likely to find yourself in sync with and naturally mirroring your interviewer.
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