In a recent blog post, we pointed out that formulaic cover letters can hurt your job search. Properly formatted, predictable cover letters and résumés will be forgettable and underwhelming.
Competent content can only get you so far: it’s all about connection.
The importance of connection is amplified once you reach an interview stage, yet the majority of interview preparation focuses on content. You research the company, learn more about their priorities and objectives. You consider how your experience could enhance this position. It is appropriate and important to do all those things, but when you arrive for the interview, your head can be so full of information that you forget about connection. All the experience in the world does you no good unless they see how it is relevant to their position. All the skills you possess are immaterial if they don’t want to work with you.
If your interviewers wanted answers to questions, they could have emailed. The goal of an interview is to get to know you. It is a conversation where your personality, tone, and interpersonal dynamics are as much in the spotlight as your work experience and professional skills.
So, before your next interview, do your homework. But also, remember that this interview is an opportunity to get to know an interviewer and a company. Take your time. Be warm. Look your interviewer in the eye. Really listen to their questions—and ask your own. If you approach an interview with a mindset of connection, you will have an enjoyable, engaging conversation—and just might have a job offer.