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  • Writer's pictureSam Law

Start the interview with a friendly question

Updated: Feb 3, 2021



Know you audience is the key to effective communication.

Why could one simple question affect the outcome of an interview? This is because we are all human beings with all the emotions we possess!

Many of us see interview being a formal process, yes it is and of course it should be. But it is also not because the interviewer does know you and he/she needs to act with the right level of professionalism, almost like a self-defence mechanism.

Asking simple questions, like "How are you and how has your day been?" might just be the perfect icebreaker. It lowers the "self-defence mechanism" and potentially opens up a friendly dialog

even before both of you sit down or greet each other with the names, both of which marks the formal start of an interview. It also brings the atmosphere to a more friendly level, tell you something about the job and/or the interviewer - this would definitely help you with the confidence and nervousness. Who would enjoy having very serious conversations in very serious meetings?

So what questions should you be asking? Typical questions include:

"Hi how are you doing today?"

"Would you like some water too?" (Given that candidates are typically served water)

"How has your day been so far?"

"Having a busy day?"

Of course, ask with a friendly tone and most importantly, with a smile. Answers are obviously open ended. Below are just some of the answers we came across before:

"I am fine thanks"

"I am doing great how are you today?"

"Yes its been a busy day and hopefully I get to finish on time today"

"It is month-end and because someone just left our team we could get a bit hectic sometime"

Using the last response, we find out 1) the team gets very busy in month end, 2) there is a person missing in the team so they could be keen to hire someone as quickly as possible and 3) they are friendly and open to having more transparent conversations.

Now that you know something about them, it helps you calm your nerves and think about how you could adjust your tone of voice, questions etc in the next 45 minutes! If you do it well it probably can and will change the outcome of your application.



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