Strategies to Connect with Your Interviewer


First impressions do count! How you interact and connect with your interviewer(s) can help make or break your chances of landing your dream job.

So how do you make a great first impression? Here are a few strategies to help you connect with the person on the other side of the table and get your interview off to a wonderful start:

Observe & Imitate

It’s called “mirroring.” And while you need to be your best self during an interview, you should take note of your interviewers’ mannerisms and preferences, and then match them when you respond. For instance, if they’re high energy, you need to kick it up a notch as well. If they’re more calm and serious, tone down your approach if necessary.

  • Don’t override your own personality, but adjust it to facilitate the dialogue. This will make both of you feel more “at-home” with one another. Once this connection is established, conversation will flow more easily and naturally.

Ask Relevant Questions at Relevant Times

As part of your interview prep, you should make a list of questions that you can ask about the company and the specific position. You don’t have to save these for the end of your interview. Use your judgment and inject them into the conversation earlier if you can. This shows your interest early on, and helps move the dialogue along.

In a Single Word: Listen

Pay attention to the type of questions asked. For instance, if your interviewer mentions numbers and percentages, be sure to weave similar information into your responses. For example, you could say that you “increased sales by 25 percent during the last fiscal year” or “exceeded the fundraising target goal by $2,500 during the last quarter.”

  • Notice and gain insight into how your interviewer best communicates. Then, use it to your advantage.
  • Note the nonverbal as well as the verbal. Body language is a key part of listening. Observe the body language of your interviewer – and use nonverbal cues to your advantage. This might include leaning forward slightly when speaking, appropriate hand gestures and eye contact.

Share Commonalities

Discuss your passion for your field and your enthusiasm for the company’s product or service. Talk about personal common interests as well.

During the holiday season, topics like shopping, traveling and the hustle and bustle around both inside and outside work are natural ice breakers.

Are you considering a career move?

Contact us for advice, or to help you find your next job or view our jobs HERE.


Pros and Cons of Freelancing


Are you considering freelancing instead of taking on a full time job, or while you look for something full time? Freelancing can be a very rewarding experience that offers a lot of freedom.

Freelancing offers a unique opportunity to work on your own schedule, take on the projects you want and often work from home. This is great for anyone that wants to travel, isn’t sure what they want to do or would prefer the freedom of working for themselves. Freelancing also provides the option to do a variety of different work, instead of always doing the same thing.

On the other hand, freelancing can be very stressful financially. Pay isn’t always steady and often doesn’t come on time. Finding freelance clients can be difficult. Also, since you aren’t permanently employed there’s a chance that projects can end abruptly, or be short term. There are also no health benefits available to freelancers.

Depending on your personality, freelancing might be perfect for you. If you’re considering freelancing make sure to look at the pros and cons before making a decision.

Want to see some additional info on Freelancing? Check out this interesting Info graphic on freelancing (

Do you freelance? Tell us about your experience in the comments


The Importance of Mentors


If you’re just starting out in your career, or need a change, a mentor can make a big difference in your life. A mentor is someone who is generally working in your industry (but they don’t have to be) and can give you advice and help in your career. Sometimes they’re just someone to bounce ideas off of, or someone to look over your resume, prepare you for an interview, or just network with. Either way, a mentor can give you a leg up in your career.


A great place to find a mentor is at a job or internship. Build a relationship with the person before you ask them for help, or to be your mentor. Often, people that have been in the industry for a while like to help those that are starting out. Even if you’ve already left the job/internship, but have someone in mind, you can always reach out afterword on LinkedIn.


There are many other places to find a mentor, one place to look is the alumni network for your college. Often people further in their careers sign up for a mentorship program and all alumni’s have access to it. Go through your alumni program and see if there’s someone that stands out to you. Reach out to them and ask if you can get a cup of coffee, or chat over Skype. Don’t immediately start asking them questions about your job search, just start building a relationship.


Once you’ve found a mentor make sure that you continue reaching out. Try to set up a standard monthly call or meet up instead of only contacting them when you need something.


If you’ve been in your field for a while, consider mentoring. It’s not only a great experience for the person getting mentored but for the person doing the mentoring as well.



How Not to Answer the Weakness Question

You have all been asked the dreaded question in an interview, “Tell me about your weaknesses.”  Jim Cipriani will give you examples of how NOT to answer this question, and them some sound advice on how to turn your weaknesses into positives for your potential employer.

Good luck!

For more interview tips please take a look at some of the previous posts on

Looking for a job?

Check out all of the open positions Systems Personnel is currently recruiting for HERE.


How to Leave a Job On Good Terms

Exit Photo

You found your dream job and can’t wait to start. Now you need to tell your current employer that you’re leaving.

No matter what you do, it’s important to never burn any bridges. Even if you hate your current job, you should still leave on good terms. You never know when you’ll need a reference, or run into your old boss. Always try to leave the door open when you quit.

Give your employer as much notice as possible that you’re leaving. If your new job isn’t starting for a month, then give your current employer a months’ notice. Your old employer will appreciate having as much time as possible to find your replacement. Make sure to always give at least two weeks’ notice, less will most likely leave you on bad terms.

Read More


Sample Questions to Ask After an Interview

Congratulations. You’ve made it through the interview and to one of the most crucial parts of an interview. This is when the interviewer asks you “Do you have any questions for me?”. Throughout the interview you should have been looking for buying signals. If you see some of the buying signals, that would be a key indication of the type of questions you can ask. Also make sure you have a rapport with the interviewer. If it is a very cold interview some of these questions may not be a fit.

Hope these questions help you make a lasting impression in your interview.

For more interview tips please take a look at some of the previous posts on

Looking for a job?

Check out all of the open positions Systems Personnel is currently recruiting for HERE.


Three Types of Interviewers You Should Know How to Handle

file9451263247323Interviews for a particular type of position may follow the same format and list of questions, but the similarities could very well end there from one interviewer to the next. They’re different people, with different styles and personalities. To increase your chances of landing the job, you need to pick up on this as early on in the game as possible, and make it work to your advantage. Read More


How to Answer: ‘Tell Me About Yourself’

Don’t be worried if you get asked to talk about yourself during an interview, this is your chance to sell yourself. Talk about your background and relevant experience and keep your bio under one minute long.


How to Act at a Business Lunch

By: Jack Hayes

Photo from our company  lunch.

Photo from our company lunch.

Today we went out for a company lunch, which got us thinking. Is your job interview over lunch, or are you having a lunch meeting with your boss? Don’t overlook proper etiquette. Read More


Analyzing Company Culture

When thinking about accepting a new job, or even applying, company culture is an important factor to consider. By researching the company culture ahead of time, you can get a snapshot of what it might be like to work at the organization. Will you fit in with your coworkers? Do you believe in the company mission? Do you see yourself enjoying the environment long term? These are all things you should be thinking about. Even if you love your work, when you hate the environment you most likely won’t stay there very long.

Choosing the perfect company is just as important as choosing the perfect position.

Do you love the company you work at? Tell us about it in the comments!