Networking: How To Be The Most Interesting Person In The Room

I recently came across this topic because I am organizing an event on this them with my non-profit team for Lean In Vancouver. In the midst of searching for a speaker who can lead our networking event, friends and mentors of mine got to talking about what actually makes a person interesting. There were a few great pointers that came out of our discussion and I will share them with you.

  1. BE INTERESTED! To be interesting to others you first have to be INTERESTED in learning about them. If you are interested to know this person beyond what they do for a living, and ask questions regarding such topics, they will find you much more interesting to talk to because you have taken an active interest in who they are as a person, and what they do.
  2. BE A GOOD LISTENER. I don’t even have to go into details with all the statistics that reinforce how LITTLE we listen to others, because we are always thinking of the next great thing that will come out of our mouths. Listen to what others are sharing with you and take the time to appreciate the fact that they are sharing with you. Great listeners ask great questions because they pay attention – and that makes them interesting.
  3. WELCOME OTHERS. It’s a skill to be in a conversation and keeping an eye out for people who are at events alone, looking to join in on a conversation. They would love it if you were inclusive and welcomed these people into your conversation. The more the merrier!

Try out the three simple tips above and it will make a world of a difference in your networking interactions – you will be building real friendships / relationships instead of just exchanging business cards.

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On Hiring: How To Test For Real Skills

Lately we have been on the lookout to add more members to our team. With the number of marketing tools in the market, there are likely over 20 tools you can use for email marketing, another 30-40 to create content and post onto the many different social media platforms, and even more to manage follower engagement.

A lot of times when people hire, we first skim the various tool the prospective employee is comfortable with using. CHECK – great they are familiar with these key tools we use. (We should also keep in mind that a lot of times familiarity with various tools is inflated in a person’s resume.) During the interview, they then ask them questions about themselves to assess fit. CHECK – seems to fit in with culture.

The missing piece is actually interviewing for the marketing SOFT skills required to make use of the tools. Does the potential candidate show promise of a strategic mindset that can utilize these tools to improve your business? I suggest testing this out by throwing a few real life business scenarios at them and seeing what they approach is to solving these problems.

The rest of the questions we ask them people can usually BS through, but business scenario questions are a good way to gage how much they really know and can apply. So the next time you interview a candidate, try this out and I guarantee you will have more useful information to make a better hiring decision.