Ever since I went to PoshFest 2015 last year with no entourage and ended up making a bunch of lasting friendships, I feel like I’ve conquered networking, the fear of talking to successful, possibly intimidating, people doesn’t deter me from making connections anymore. So when I saw that Career Contessa was having this “Interview Do’s and Don’ts” net working event, I signed up without thinking twice.
P.S. A side note about Career Contessa in case you didn’t know about them. Think professional career focused Refinery29 customized for professional women, and with insight and guidance like ones seen on Glassdoor.com and Salary.com. The Career Contessa company tagline is ““A career resource for women who want more and are daring enough to get it.” I’ve been a Career Contessa reader since early 2015 and their content has become SO insightful and so in-depth. My recent favorite is a article on salary growth of a VP in Marketing and how he/she went from making 45K to 156K in 10 years.
Job Search Do’s and Don’ts by Career Contessa and Six Degree Society Photo by Kathrina Sio Job Search Do’s and Don’ts by Career Contessa and Six Degree Society Photo by Kathrina Sio
Initially, what attracted me to this event was the impressive line-up of panelist: recruiters from Nasty Gal, Hulu, and Glassdoor dishing out insider information on how interviewers can succeed during job searches. What I didn’t know about, was how awesome the “curated networking” which was the work of Six Degree Society, was going to turn out.
I am going into the 8th year of my professional career, and I’ve gone to a lot of networking events. I have not gone to one with such nicely established structure for attendees to engage with each other, without awkward games or artificial conversations. I was paired with Amber and Natalie, who both have digital media experience and ambition to do great things in their content creation journey. (I also met Connie, not through the pairing but just good ole networking). Six Degree Society studied carefully the bio I provided and paired me with people who share similar or complementary experience or skill sets as me. My conversation with Amber and Natalie felt naturally engaging and we all learned so much from one another. In fact, I already know there will be collaborations on the horizon with these #girlbosses soon!
Besides the free drinks, awesome freebies, and all the socializing, I learned a few things that were pretty surprising (to me at least):
1) Treat your recruiter as your best advocate. They want you to succeed almost as much as you do! Be transparent with them, be comfortable with them, and count on them.
2) Don’t show up too early for an interview. Thirty minutes is too early; try arriving there 15-5 minutes beforehand. If you’re early, chill in your car or a coffee shop.
3) Have the salary conversation earlier in the interview process rather than later. Do it in a tactful way. You don’t always have to reveal your current salary level (my personal opinion is that you should never disclose this info), but this is to make sure your desired salary range matches the company’s budget.
4) Men and women have very different negotiation tactics; men tend to be more fact based in their negotiations, and women tend to list more emotionally based reasons. Whether you’re a man or woman, approach this subject with your worth (based on your experience and public data) and not personal reasons or life circumstances.
What are your interview must-do’s and must-not-do’s? If you’re an interviewer, what’s your biggest pet peeve?