Interview skills advice
Get advice on how to prepare for and conduct yourself in job interviews.
Networking is an important way to promote your business or service, get jobs and build long term connections. Making a good impression and developing people skills are important skills for networking.
First impressions are important in any industry, but particularly when you are selling a service or business idea. Through experience and practice you can build your confidence which is key to making a positive first impression. A confident tone, good body language and a positive expression will help in all situations, including interviews, business meetings and when working with clients.
Consider your body language in meetings and interviews to ensure you come across confident, positive and proactive.
Here are some simple tips:
Everyone has a community to build from, including friends and colleagues. Our guide to building a map of your community (available below) will help you identify your existing networks.
If you don't know anyone working in your field of interest, look to see if there is someone helpful in your extended network who does. This could be your friends’ friends, your family’s friends, and your network of colleagues to see if you can reach relevant people through them.
It is useful to have contacts at various levels in organisations, who can help you in different ways.
Someone in their first job might give you useful hints based on their recent experience. A senior manager might give you current insights into their field. Middle managers can give you an idea of what opportunities exist and what they would look for in a new recruit.
Consider how you are going to meet your contacts; either by email, phone or face-to-face. The best way to engage someone is to meet them face-to-face.
Here are some useful steps to making contact and setting up a meeting:
You could use a go-between - if the person you want to reach is a “warm” contact – someone you’re already connected to but who you haven’t met. Use your friend or colleague in common to help break the ice.
Consider how to maintain and develop this new relationship once the initial meeting is over.
Remember, your time and efforts could take a while to pay off. Your contact may not have suitable work or opportunities for you or may be negotiating budgets or working on something separate. Be realistic and make practical contingency plans until the right opportunity presents itself.