A speech at the annual Lexington Bluegrass Area Minority Business Expo will address a common fear of job seekers: When you're in a networking situation, how do you talk to a complete stranger? Tammy Turner says she can help ease that fear.
A morning speech by the author of How to Talk to Strangers: A Step-by-Step Guide to Professional Networking, is among the highlights at the expo, which will bring together hundreds of female and minority business leaders in Lexington on July 27 and 28.
Turner, who also launched Kapstone Recruiting and Training Services, took time last week to talk to the Herald-Leader about her speech.
Question: What will you be talking about at the Expo?
Answer: I will be discussing primarily networking and also conducting a workshop on networking. ... It'll be the fundamentals of networking, things that people should do that evening or morning to maximize their time at the expo and how to follow up afterward.
Q: What do you see as a common networking problem?
A: The biggest challenge with networking is that people don't follow up. They'll go to a networking event, exchange business cards with someone, and never follow up until seven months down the road when they need something.
If they had taken the time to nurture the relationship immediately after the event, it's much easier to reach out to someone and have them be a resource to you.
One of the other challenges a lot of people have is they don't know what to say. They don't know how to approach an absolute stranger and begin a conversation.
Q: What's one tip you recommend for that?
A: I recommend, especially at an event like this, to find the common bond. The common bond here is the expo. It can be something as simple as 'How did you hear about the expo? Who invited you? Are you a business owner?' and so on. Find the common bond and develop a conversation from there.
Q: What's the best way to follow up with people you meet?
A: I recommend that individuals follow up within 48 hours. You're still fresh in that person's mind and they're fresh in yours. ...
The preferred way is email. It allows receivers to engage on their time and their space as opposed to someone calling at 6 o'clock in the evening and they're having dinner with their family. In that case, the first impression is not a good one.
Q: You also will be offering interviewing tips. Tell me about that.
A: I'll be talking with the participants on the things they can do to ace an interview. It'll be everything from the preparation you do prior to even meeting the interviewer to the due diligence on researching the company and the person you'll be speaking to, and I'll be talking about standard interview questions.
There are standard questions that people are asked in most every interview, and they still stumble over them like, 'What are your weaknesses?' We get some folks who say they don't have weaknesses. Everyone has weaknesses. ...
One of the other biggest areas where people drop the ball is when the interviewer says, 'Do you have any questions?' People will often say no. For many hiring managers, that's a deal breaker because it tells me you haven't done your research.