Networking success in seven steps
Networking success depends on you being prepared, clear about your objectives and willing to nurture relationships. Following these simple steps will help you to be successful:
- Research - Doing your research on the company before the assessment centre can really help when talking to staff members during the day. It will allow you to ask informed questions, react appropriately to any questions they ask and is more likely to impress the employer.
- Be Interested - This is a good opportunity to find out more about the company culture and experiences from staff who may be your future colleagues.
- Be Friendly - Ask people about themselves (both staff and other candidates) – it is great when someone seems interested in who you are and what you have to say.
- Listen Carefully - avoid interrupting. Ask intelligent questions and really listen to the answers, ensuring you are keeping positive and open body language (not appearing bored), looking at the person, and responding appropriately.
- Common Ground - Finding things that you have in common can be a good way to initiate a conversation if networking is something you find challenging. Common topics could include: talking about the days activities, the weather, university life or current light news items.
- Be self-aware - Think about how your behaviour will appear to the employer. If you are naturally shy, try to make an effort to talk to people. Be aware the language you use (avoid offensive words or phrases) and be aware of how much alcohol you drink as this may impair your judgement and may not show you in a good light.
- Be Positive and Confident - Even if you don't feel like you are