Depending on how popular or sought after the job you are interviewing for is you will
have a lot of competition for a few positions. A stellar interview is crucial to make you
stand out from the rest of the crowd. To give yourself an added edge and cement yourself
in your interviewer’s mind, try to make a personal connection with them at some point in
A personal connection can take numerous forms. If you are in the interviewer’s office
and they have a picture of a sailboat on their wall (and you happen to love sailing), make
an appropriate comment that identifies you as a sailor too. This may not put you above
others more qualified than you but it will help you to stand out amongst those you are in
direct competition with.
Take your cues from the interviewer, if they seem uncomfortable with relaying any
personal information or are not comfortable veering off topic then follow their lead. If a
personal conversation does develop, let the interviewer guide it. When they bring it to a
close and either get back to the questions or say good bye, leave it at that.
At the end of the day, interviewers want to hire people that are qualified and who will fit
in with the rest of the team at the company. If you can make a connection and have the
right skill sets you will be giving yourself a better chance than someone else. You will
also help the interviewer recall who you are and stick out in their mind as that candidate
who knew a lot about sailing.
If you are not comfortable with discussing personal topics during an interview, don’t feel
that you must go out of your way to do so. At the end of the day, your qualifications are
what you should be highlighting.