How to Network Successfully with Questions

I’m teaching a workshop tomorrow to a group of highly intelligent, highly motivated individuals who are on the journey to a new job. I spoke about questions in my last blog.  Questions are the topic of tomorrow’s workshop. When you’re in the job search process, you are seemingly in a constant cycle of networking, interviewing, more networking and hopefully more interviewing. It’s my belief that asking questions is a fundamental skill necessary to network and interview successfully.

The purpose of networking is to stand out from the crowd, to make a positive impression, to let the potential employer see how well prepared you come to an event such as this, and of course, to demonstrate your interest and knowledge of the company. What better way than to do your research and come prepared with intelligent, thought provoking and completely curious questions? What questions, you ask? There are many, many articles written about what questions to ask, or not to ask, during such events.

A few of my personal favorites are: “What got you started in this line of business?” Or “I read you recently acquired XYZ company. What impact do you see this having on your business?” And my all time favorite, “What is the single largest problem facing your team?” Oh, what a treasure trove of information! You let them talk about themselves, they feel good, and you’ve learned a great deal, not only about the company, but about your potential boss. And, let’s not forget that somewhere in there, you started to build a relationship with him/her! Yes, that’s right….a relationship.  I said it.

When I teach networking classes, I tell my class that networking is nothing more than relationship building.  I stand by that. I have a pretty phenomenal network, and it happened totally by mistake. You see, I simply care about people and I like to stay connected with them. Some of my most remarkable connections are people I’ve known long before they were remarkable in a business sense. They were simply good people who I valued and who’s company I enjoyed. We stayed connected. That’s it.

So, when you’re out networking, you’re meeting new people and want to build relationships. So go ahead, do your homework, prepare some great questions and reap the rewards. What is your favorite question to ask when networking? I’d love to hear….and so would my students!

#livingthedream #andlcole #reachforthestars

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About Andrea Cole

I am living the good life in beautiful Seattle, WA as a leadership development consultant and career development coach, helping individuals grow their careers, seek new ones, or land new jobs at www.colecoach.com
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2 Responses to How to Network Successfully with Questions

  1. You’re completely right, at its core networking is simply building and maintaining relationships. I think if more people looked at it in this light they may have more success in managing their relationships gained through networking.
    http://www.interviewknowledge.com

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