SPEAKER’S CORNER: Six Steps to Successful Networking

By Cynthia Lewis
These tips from PSGCNJ’s General Membership meeting on September 10 will help you to get comfortable with networking, also known as “working the room,” hobnobbing, and small talk.
The goal of networking is to be memorable to your contacts, or if you are speaking with someone who has the capacity to hire you, to get the interview, or better yet, get the job!
1.    When networking, be prepared to answer these questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What are your job skills / weaknesses?
  • What are the job responsibilities you least like?
  • Will you fit with our company/ employees?
  • Should I hire you?

2.    When networking, you are selling brand “YOU:”

  • Promoting self to potential employer
  • One/ Two most important skills

–        Your strengths, accomplishments

  • Type of responsibility seeking

–        Don’t get hung up on the job title
–        Entry level, professional, experienced manager

  • Be passionate
  • Be brief

 3. Your networking Took Kit:

  • Before delivering your Elevator pitch, introduce yourself
  • Show a relaxed approach
  • Have a plan

–        Ice breaker connection?
–        Prior company research?

  • Common elements

–        Pets, hobbies, recent vacation, etc.
4.    What the employer wants to know about you:

  • What can you do for us? (do your company research)
  • How does your experience qualify you; can you do the job? (strengths/ weaknesses)
  • Chemistry / fit (supervisor, peers, cross-departmental functions, organization)
  • Who are you? (experience relevant to the job)
  • Why you’re in the job market? (situation)
  • Will you do the job? (motivation)

5. Be prepared to answer these typical questions (These are behavioral questions; there are no right answers):

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Tell me about a time when ….

–        What was the outcome?

  • Describe your most rewarding experience
  • Are you a person who likes to “try new things” or “Stay with regular routines”? Why?

6.    Closing the deal:

  • Be honest
  • Passionate
  • Sincere
  • Ask for the business

–        Is there any additional information that you need from me to make a decision?
–        Are you prepared to make me an offer?
Remember to practice your networking skills at the Monday General Meetings. 

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