Networking & Interviewing Strategies: Slam Bam Doesn’t Work
This article comes from a talk I recently gave to CSIX (www.csix.org talk)
- an organization dedicated to helping those out of work network, learn success
strategies, and find new jobs.
Having attended their meetings before, as well as networking events as other
organizations, I realized that people don’t understand that networking
is not about the “30 second elevator speech” but is really about
So, I sub-titled my talk “slam bam” because I wanted to make the
point that you can’t expect people to really get to know you, and to be
comfortable referring you to others from a very brief introduction. Would you
contact a CEO or other executive you knew well just because a stranger asked
you for the contact? I wouldn’t.
I, like you, am very careful about referrals I give. I want to be sure that
the person I am referring to a friend or colleague is someone who is truly qualified,
ethical, and a good fit for the person to whom I’m making the introduction.
Successful networking is long term relationship building. It works best when
it is in addition to other involvements you have with other people.
That’s one of the many reasons why volunteering your services is so
important. Organizations such as Rotary, Lions, community, political or religious
groups, all have as their purpose service to others. While performing these services,
people get to know each other and these relationships quite often develop into
business referrals. So, get involved. Join organizations that matter to you and
actively participate in committees in these organizations.
If you wish copies of the two articles I’ve published previously about
Volunteering, please contact me.
Networking is more about what you give to others than standing up telling
Obstacles to Networking
On the other hand, you do need to be able to describe who you are and what you
do when called upon to do so. You do need to recognize that it is valuable to
network and market and sell your services.
In “the olden days” professionals were taught that it was tacky
and unethical to overtly advertise. It was enough to get a degree, license or
credential and then hang out your shingle and wait for the business to come to
you. That doesn’t work anymore.
Women have to overcome an additional obstacle to networking effectively. We
have been taught that it is pushy and inappropriate to ask. We, unlike men, have
been taught that it is wrong to mix social relationships with business.
We need to get past these old beliefs and reach out both for ourselves and
Interviewing Tips for the Applicant
Interviewing is like a courtship—the first date must go well, or there
won’t be other dates. You must be well dressed, well groomed, comfortable,
well prepared and able to answer all the questions asked of you.
Remember that interviewing is a two way street. Not only must they like you,
you must like them as well. So, it is highly appropriate for you to ask questions
regarding their culture, management style, expectations and other questions geared
to learn more about the company.
Be careful that your questions are part of a conversation, not an interrogation.
Be sure that you are ethical and courteous in style. Also realize that the nature
of your questions shows that you’ve done your homework and that you are
intelligent and knowledgeable about the company, your experience, and the position
for which you are applying.
Questions about salary and benefits should not be raised by you during the
first interview. If you are asked about them, try to defer the conversation to
later. If forced, try to gracefully let them set the boundaries. Questions such
as: “What are your typical benefits?” “What is the salary range
you are considering?” “What will raise or lower the offer?”
Practice your interviewing skills with friends and relatives.
Diamond, Ph.D. has been a consultant to management and business for over
twenty years. She excels at quickly cleaving to the essence of a problem, and
helping her clients find practical, realizable and useful solutions. Dr. Diamond
is a noted author, public speaker, educator and consultant.
Consultant to Management
Helping You Get the Most out of Yourself and Others
Author of Training Your Board of Directors &
The "Please" and "Thank You" of Fundraising for Non-profits.
• 408 554-0110, www.diamondassociates.net