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How to Creep Out Your Interviewer

Q: Should we Google our interviewer before an interview? I want to make a connection, but recently my interviewer seemed creeped-out.

I think the problem stems from the impersonal nature of the interviewing process. What is the average success rate for interviews? Over my career, it has to be in the low single digits. Your interviewer knows this, too.

Aware that the odds are pretty high that she is going to say “no” to you, she rightly does not want to get too personal - saying “no” to people is more difficult if you have a personal bond with them. This is why she may have been “creeped out”. Other than the obvious concern that you may be a stalker.

Personally, I applaud taking the initiative and trying to find out information about your interviewer. This is a good trait of successful people. Keep it up, but in light of the “creeping out” factor, we have to explore a better way to use this information to help you land the job.

One way is to search for experiences or aptitudes that you have in common with your interviewer. Then, focus on less personal ways of bringing these out in the interview. If you find out that your interviewer was an accounting major, when she asks, “tell me about a project that you worked on that you really enjoyed”, give her an analytical one that she can relate to.

Or, if she is from your home state, find a way to weave this into your conversation. If you can do this without seeming like a brown-noser, you will help her get comfortable with including your name on the callback list.

Don’t shy away from doing these sorts of things. Much of the interviewing process is intuition and feel. It is not devious or dishonest to create positive rapport with your interviewer. It is good self-marketing.

Information is power. Don’t be afraid to use it to promote your own cause - just don’t get too personal!

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