Updated: May 19
In a job interview, your words and body language must send the right message in order to build instant rapport with your interviewer.
Mirroring is an influential technique where you reflect your subject by adapting to the body language and speech patterns rather than copying them exactly. This method is used to establish coherence between you and your interviewer and by using this technique you can build a deeper connection where the interviewer feels more relaxed when communicating with you. However, be careful. There is a thin line between effective and ineffective mirroring during a job interview.
We use mirroring unconsciously when we talk with someone we know well or feel comfortable with, such as family and friends. Using this technique when done right, could help you ace a job interview and gaining your interviewer trust can reduce nervousness during the interview.
Mirroring is done by subtly reflecting your interviewer. You must adjust your mood, posture, tone and actions according to that of your interviewer. This may also include vocabulary and style used by your interviewer. For example, when your interviewer speaks softly when asking interview questions, try to respond in the same tone and speed. When they sit up straight and lean forward, observe carefully, wait for a minute or two before doing the same.
Using this technique will allow you to convey the message to your interviewer that you are on the same page and that you understand them. People tend to feel relaxed in the presence of something known or familiar to them. But try not to copycat or shadow your interviewer exactly because this will come across as creepy. Be more of an echo of their body language.
When implementing this technique, remember to mirror positive dispositions only. If your interviewer seems angry or irritated, do not reflect those actions. If you do you will lose trust quickly. Don’t be too conscious - be as natural as possible. Since mirroring is done subconsciously in human interactions just add a little intent to supercharge your interactions. Mirroring can give you a distinct advantage during your interview. Practice this technique, master it and ace your next interview.
Lee Woodrow is a CV & LinkedIn Optimisation Specialist and helps contractors, senior job seekers & small business owners to land interviews and opportunities fast. He is an ex-military instructor, has 14 years of corporate experience, understands interview & advanced sales techniques and is an Accredited CVIA Writer.