BUILDING RAPPORT IN NETWORKING INTERVIEWS

When you first meet Fred, try to chat about a couple of personal interests of his. Listen carefully and observe the things in the person’s office, such as pictures and objects on the desk. After a couple of minutes of small talk, you should start off by saying something like: “Fred, I really appreciate your willingness to see me and help me
with my career transition. Right off I want you to understand that I realize it’s highly unlikely that you have an opening I’d be considered for or know of one.”

How effectively you conduct yourself in the first few minutes of the interview often determines whether you get the contact’s best response or just a routine one. Fred may start by saying, “Tell me about yourself.”
If you aren’t asked for it and Fred doesn’t know you well professionally, volunteer it. Don’t assume the interviewer has spent any time with your resume. The beginning of the interview is usually focused on your agenda, so use the time profitably. End your introduction by saying, “That gives you a quick overview of who I am
and what I’m looking for. ” Then pause.

The interviewer usually responds by saying, “Of course, we don’t have anything here for you.” Then he is likely either to ask for more information on some aspect of your experience or start talking about his company. There will follow some give-and-take on his choice. Ask the most pertinent questions you’ve prepared. Have several
copies of your resume in case you’re asked for them.

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