Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Brand Yourself During an Interview and Networking

The following two articles about personal branding during the interview and network process come from the New York Security Analyst Society. These are useful to AIM students as they prepare for internships and entry level interviews.

Personal Branding: Interviewing

The interview process will ultimately determine if your efforts at personal branding have been successful.
There are two kinds of interviews: the informational/courtesy and the real interview (where there is a real job!).
Here are some interview rules of thumb:
  • NEVER ask a question you should know the answer to
  • Know everything you possibly can about the company; nothing will substitute for appropriate due diligence and research
  • Interviewing is like dating—increasing amounts of information is exchanged in successive stages (DON’T VOLUNTEER TOO MUCH UP FRONT)
Don’t forget about the importance of cultural fit. Sometimes a good cultural fit can trump qualifications if the firm believes you can grow into the job quickly enough but make a contribution from the get go. 
The more senior you are, the more important the corporate culture is because you will be higher up in the food chain and more exposed to what is right or wrong about a company.
There is much more about the interview process we can discuss but if you get the job you can tell yourself you have satisfied the ultimate goal of personal branding—someone wants you for who you are!

Personal Branding: Networking

Once you have taken the first step in developing your personal brand—creating a resume—you need to test your brand in the marketplace.
Network to find out if people perceive you the way you see yourself.
There are two kinds of networking: online and in-person.
To start networking online, you need to create an online presence via social media on websites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can even create a blog using platforms such as WordPress or Tumblr.
There is no substitute, however, for face-to-face networking. Face-to-face networking involves participating in industry organizations either as a panelist or attendee.
Even more important when you are in real social settings—as opposed to the pseudo social setting of the internet—is to follow appropriate rules of behavior. You want to create a bond with those with whom you are networking. It takes time to cultivate these relationships.
Networking should be a part of your regular career management—not just when you need a job. You want to create networking relationships before you need to use them.
The last and most important part of developing a personal brand is finding out if it will get you a job through the interview process, which we’ll cover next. 

This article was written by Richard Lipstein, executive search consultant with Gilbert Tweed International, long-time NYSSA member and currently member of its board of directors. This is a very good source of information about career opportunities in the investments field.