1) You need to ask for an introduction to someone at a company where you’re seeking employment. Which of the following are appropriate:
A: Reaching out to your friend who works at the company and asking for help.
B: You realize someone you met once works there and send them a request to connect you to the hiring manager.
Answer: Both are okay, but A is certainly better. It’s never ideal to reach out to someone with whom you’ve not developed a relationship as it can be awkward, as well as not a strong introduction for you.
2) You meet someone at an event, on an airplane, or at a party and you exchange business cards. Do you:
A: Follow up within 24 hours by email or phone, letting them know it was nice to meet them.
B: Do A, as well as schedule a follow up.
C: Throw the card away without contacting them.
Answer: A and B are ideal, depending on the nature of our conversation and possible takeaways from any further communication. C is rarely, if ever, an acceptable response. There is no harm in a quick email follow up even if you see no obvious reason to do so. Manners should be reason enough.
3) You have a conversation with someone and you ask them for something or they offer to help you in some way. You:
A: Wait for them to do it.
B: You take the initiative and follow up with them. You make the call, send the email, set up the meeting, etc.
Answer: B is ideal. If you ask for something or are to be on the receiving end of someone’s goodness, it’s on you to move the ball forward. It is ok to wait, like in A, but not for too long so that you appear to be lazy or disinterested.
4) You meet someone new and want to share your business card with them. You:
A: Immediately hand it to them
B: Wait until some rapport is built and then ask if you can have their card. If they ask for yours, you offer it back.
Answer: B. It’s generally of no use to you to offer a card to someone at the beginning of an interaction. It’s better form to wait until it’s been requested.
5) You’re looking to find a way to build trust and make a connection with someone. You’re having a phone conversation and they ask you if you know “Sam Smith” who you don’t. You reply:
A: Of course I do- isn’t Sam great?!
B: No, I don’t think we’ve met. Tell me about Sam, perhaps we should!
Answer: B. It’s never ok to lie or pretend even if you think it’s of no consequence.
6) There is a lull in your conversation with someone. You:
A: Ask them meaningful questions.
B: Insert an endless story about yourself to fill the void.
Answer: A. A great conversation typically involves the other person talking more than you do. A great way to accomplish this is to ask questions and create a more natural dialogue by being interested in who they are.
7) You meet someone and recognize that they’re in a position that could help you in some way. You:
A: Take a risk and ask them to do so.
B: You ask for a card and see if you can set up a follow up meeting.
C: See how you can help him/her before asking for something for yourself.
Answer: This really depends on the situation but we tend to believe that B and C are better reactions in the majority of situations.
8) While engaging in a conversation with someone, you:
A: Look them in the eyes.
B: Let your eyes dart around the room, checking out what else is going on.
Answer: A. People like to feel that you are listening and the simplest way to demonstrate this is by making eye contact.
9) During a conversation with a new contact, you begin to feel insecure. Your reaction:
A: Inflate who you are and what you’ve accomplished.
B: Be yourself. If they connect with you, that’s their prerogative.
Answer: B. We all get insecure at times, but it’s best to adopt a mindset of belief that you’ll attract people into your life who like you for you and not worry about those who don’t. No matter how important you feel they might be.
How did you do? Are you a networking master?
Many of these questions and answers may seem overly simplistic and obvious, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we bet we’ve all been guilty of doing the wrong thing at some time or another. Like any skill, networking (or as we like to say: relationship building) takes work and constant refinement. Use this quick check-up to assess how you’re doing and where you could work to improve!