Networking can be a valuable strategy when applying and interviewing. Here are some considerations for networking in the specific scenario you mentioned:
Networking before applying: It can be beneficial to network with key individuals in the division you're applying to, including the hiring manager, before submitting your application. This can help you establish a connection, demonstrate your interest in the role, and potentially gain insights into the company or position. However, be mindful of the timing and context. Reach out to them with a professional and well-crafted message, expressing your interest in the company and desire to learn more about the role or division.
Networking during the interview process: Once you have started the interviewing process, it can still be advantageous to continue networking with individuals within the division. However, it's essential to strike the right balance and be mindful of the potential impact on the interview process. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Focus on building relationships: Use networking opportunities to connect with professionals in the division on a personal level. Seek to understand their experiences, perspectives, and insights related to the role or industry. Show genuine interest in their work and expertise.
- Maintain professionalism: While networking, remember that you are still being evaluated as a candidate. Be professional, respectful, and avoid putting pressure on individuals for a favorable outcome in the interview process. Networking should be about building relationships and gathering information, rather than seeking an advantage in the hiring process.
- Use networking to enhance your understanding: Networking can provide you with valuable insights into the company culture, expectations, and challenges. It can also help you gain a deeper understanding of the role and how it aligns with your skills and aspirations. Leverage these conversations to strengthen your overall knowledge and prepare for future interview stages.
- Stay organized: Keep track of the individuals you connect with, the topics discussed, and any follow-up actions. This will help you maintain professionalism and demonstrate your ability to manage relationships effectively.
Networking should be approached with authenticity, respect, and professionalism. It can provide you with valuable insights, build relationships, and potentially enhance your candidacy. However, always prioritize the interview process itself, ensuring that you are fully prepared and focused on showcasing your skills and qualifications.