A job interview can be a nerve-racking experience, especially when you have been removed from the job market for an extended period of time. It is one thing to sell on paper with the resume and another thing to sell in person at the interview.

Regardless of whether you have been out of a job for an extended period of time, are looking to change careers, or are still employed and seeking a better opportunity, the key to conducting a job interview successfully is a result of a collective number of factors. However, one of the more defining factors is the relationship you establish.

People hire people they like. Even if one candidate is more qualified and experienced than another, without a good relationship there is minimal chance at securing the job opportunity. The same goes for referrals. When you are referred by an existing employee, your chances are much stronger than a candidate who applied simply as a result of finding the opportunity through an ad from a job board.

So the question becomes how do you develop a strong enough relationship from a job interview to strengthen and lock in your chances at a job offer?

1. Use Appropriate Body Language
What you don’t say matters just as much as what you do say. Your body language and facial expressions inform an employer how engaged you are in conversation and how interested you are in the opportunity. Smile, exhibit confidence, and listen carefully so you respond appropriately and know how to build on the conversation. Refer to the blog post on “What Your Interview Body Language Reveals about You” for tips.

2. Seek More Information
Asking questions expresses to an employer that you are engaged in the conversation. Try to ask questions to probe for additional information. Instead of simply addressing what is asked of you, respond and follow up with a question of your own and turn the interview into a conversation. This expresses to the employer that you have an interest to learn more. Refer to the blog post on “3 Ways to Build Rapport and Ace the Interview” for tips.

3. Demonstrate You Are Up for the Challenge
There are challenges with every job. What is important to an employer is that you are up for the challenge and that you have the ability to succeed. Research information in advance of your interview by reviewing the company’s website and information in the news. You will have a better understanding of what challenges or changes the company has recently been through, and how it may impact the position you are interested in. Ask related questions during the interview to find out more. This informs an employer that you have come well-prepared for the interview. You can also take the opportunity to relay how you have experience with similar situations and how you dealt with them.

The more confident and comfortable you are with yourself in the interview, the easier it will be for the employer to develop a strong rapport and relationship with you. This is not to say that you sit back and relax as though you are sitting in your own living room. Instead, the point is to be open to conversation and for it to be developed with ease. Consider a candidate sitting stiff, head down, and who is brief in response to conversation and questions asked. It makes it difficult for him as well as the employer to try to establish good rapport and the relationship. Don’t let that be you!

Author's Bio: 

Don Goodman, President of About Jobs (www.GotTheJob.com) is a nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Certified Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business and Stanford University's Executive Program, Don has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Get a Free Resume Evaluation, read his blog at www.GotTheJob.com/blog/ or contact him at 800-909-0109 or by e-mail at DGoodman@GotTheJob.com.