If you want to be memorable, have an advantage over other candidates, and ultimately be selected for the job, it’s important that the interviewer is not only impressed with your skills, but feels comfortable speaking to you and feels that you belong to the organisation. When someone offers you a job, it’s like an invitation to join their family, so you need to realise that if you walk out of that interview room and they still feel you are a stranger to them, you’re probably not going to get the job.

So here are some tips on how you can lose the stranger status during a job interview:

1) No Q&A, Have a Conversation

Yes, I know job interviews tend to be about the interviewer asking you a question, and then you responding, with questions right at the end of the session. But just because you are answering questions, doesn’t mean you should sound like a robot. Have a conversation with them, answer confidently, in a relaxed way, and even ask a question if you feel it’s relevant to what is being discussed.

2) Share a Personal Story

This technique is tricky if not used correctly. Don’t go out of topic in an attempt to build a relationship, you will just look desperate and silly. But there are ways you can share a personal story in your interview and still not be weird. As an example, in questions relating to your future goals, you could slip in something personal –

“As a medium term goal, I hope to be able to move into a managerial role, therefore I intend to work pretty hard and to learn and develop my skills quickly, and hopefully you will find me suitable for the role at some point. I am newly married, and I want to be able to achieve something before I start having a family.”

This answer is very goal orientated, shows your determination to work hard and contribute to the company, at the same time the reasons you are doing it are relevant and personal.

Of course, if you are pleasant enough, many trained interviewers may ask some personal questions (within certain boundaries, of course), as it would give them some insights on your personality and priorities in life.

3) End the Interview Confidently

At the end of the interview, ask them what to expect, and also thank them for taking the time to meet you. Give them a good smile and confident handshake. Follow up emails are also a good way to keep you top of mind, so thank them again for the meeting later.


Of course, building a relationship is not going to surpass the importance of demonstrating that you are the best person to perform the job. The interviewer will be trying hard to assess if you have the right skills or attitude for the role, so to ace that interview, you really should be able to answer these fundamental questions. But if you missed out on the job because the interviewer felt more comfortable speaking to another candidate, then surely it would be such a waste.



Posted by Derek Toh

Derek is the founder and CEO of WOBB.CO. He was part of the pioneer batch for the Stanford-MaGIC Entrepreneurship Program, and is also a mentor for McKinsey & Company's Youth Leadership Academy. Derek is on a mission to revolutionise work culture in Asia. He cares about initiatives that improve education and the talent market. Derek is also a big fan of superhero movies, and has been told that he drinks too much coffee during the day.

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