What if you could improve your chances of getting a job by modifying your communication style to build better rapport with a hiring manager?

You can: You just need to discover your interviewer’s communication style.  You will find that people readily reveal their style — primarily because they are not trying to hide it. Understanding a person’s communication style can help put both of you on the same wavelength. And by using that same style — words that ring true and make them feel comfortable — you can cre­ate a smooth and easy exchange of information for both sides. Simply put, if you and your interviewer share the same communication style, you’re more likely to develop a sense of connection.

So how do you determine someone’s communication style? Let’s use an exam­ple that illustrates how easy this can be. Ask three of your friends to describe the same incident. The bigger, more dramatic the incident, the easier it is to determine their style. Say, the moment they learned of the tragic events of 9/11. If your first friend says something like, “I remember feeling sick and angry,” they are likely an emotional communicator. They may have seen the incident but chose to tell you how they felt about it. If friend No. 2 says, “I re­member seeing the video over and over and watching the buildings collapse 100 times,” they are probably a visual communicator. While they also heard about it and felt awful about it, they chose to relay what they saw. If friend No. 3 says, “I remember people screaming and ambulance sirens that went on all night.” This would come from an auditory communicator who saw it and felt terrible about what they saw but chose to tell you what they heard. Of course, your friends may use more than one style, but look for a consistent pattern; it’s usually not difficult to pick out the dominant style.

Now let’s move on to the interview. Whenever your interviewer describes anything including the job, pay attention to their use of verbs. Verbs reveal the style. If they say, “I see that you have experience in that field,” or “picture this,” or “did you watch our YouTube videos?” especially if they are neat­ly dressed and have a perfectly organized desk, you are likely in the presence of a visual communicator. You should be able to shift your style just enough to paint pictures with words. Use words such as see, view, watch, picture, and observe. Give the interviewer your vision for the job.

If the interviewer has a sloppy desk, piles of paper on the floor or a smudge on their light switch, they are less likely to be stimulated by what they see and more likely to be stimulated by what they hear. Use auditory words like hear, sound, noise, scream, roar, silence, quiet.

If your interviewer seems interested in how you feel about their company or how you felt about losing your job, you have an emotional communicator. Describe your emotions and let them sense your passion.

When the competition is steep and you’re up against other candidates who have the same qualifications as you do, a bit of “communication styling” can improve your chances. Give it a try. Practice learning the styles of others and then focus on communicating in a like manner. Before you know it, commu­nication styling will become automatic.