When it comes to landing a job in the consulting industry, networking is key. Networking calls, in particular, are an essential part of the job search process. In this article, we'll explore the importance of networking calls and provide tips for how to prepare for a Strategy& management consulting networking call in particular.
The importance of networking calls in the consulting industry
In the consulting industry, networking calls are a crucial part of the hiring process. They provide an opportunity for job seekers to connect with potential employers, learn about the company culture, and showcase their skills and experience.
Networking calls are particularly important in the consulting industry because consulting firms rely heavily on referrals in their recruitment process. According to a report by Vettery, more than 50% of all job openings in the consulting industry are filled through employee referrals. That means that making connections and building relationships within the industry is essential for landing a job.
Furthermore, networking calls also allow job seekers to gain valuable insights into the consulting industry and the specific firm they are interested in. They can ask questions about the company's projects, clients, and overall strategy, which can help them determine if the firm is a good fit for their career goals and interests.
Understanding the purpose of a Strategy& management consulting networking call
Before you jump on a networking call, it's important to understand its purpose. The goal of a networking call is to establish a connection with someone who works at the company you're interested in and to learn more about their experience working there. It's not about directly asking for a job, but rather about building a relationship that could lead to a job opportunity in the future.
During the networking call, it's important to ask thoughtful questions and actively listen to the person you're speaking with. This will not only show your interest in the company, but also help you gain valuable insights into the industry and the company culture. Additionally, it's important to be prepared and have a clear understanding of your own career goals and how they align with the company's mission and values.
After the networking call, it's important to follow up with a thank-you email or message to express your gratitude for their time and insights. This will help you maintain the connection and keep the door open for future opportunities. Remember, networking is a long-term game and building genuine relationships is key to success in any industry.
Researching the company and the interviewer before the call
Before your networking call, take some time to research the company and the person you'll be speaking with. Look at the company's website, read articles about the company in industry publications, and review their social media profiles. You should also research the person you'll be speaking with. Look up their LinkedIn profile and learn more about their background and experience.
Additionally, it's important to research the company's competitors and industry trends. This will give you a better understanding of the company's position in the market and potential challenges they may be facing. You can use this information to ask thoughtful questions and show your interest in the company's success.
Another helpful tip is to prepare a list of talking points or questions to guide the conversation. This will ensure that you cover all the important topics and make the most of your time with the interviewer. Remember to also practice your elevator pitch and be ready to talk about your own experience and qualifications.
Preparing a list of questions to ask during the call
One of the key elements of a successful networking call is asking thoughtful questions. Before your call, prepare a list of questions that you'd like to ask. These can range from questions about the company culture to questions about the interviewer's experience at the company. Having a list of questions prepared will ensure that you don't forget anything important during the call.
It's also important to remember that the questions you ask should be relevant to the purpose of the call. If you're networking to learn more about a specific industry or job role, make sure your questions are tailored to that topic. Additionally, try to avoid asking questions that can easily be found on the company's website or through a quick Google search. Instead, focus on asking questions that will give you deeper insights into the company or the person you're speaking with.
Practicing your elevator pitch and responses to common questions
During a networking call, you'll likely be asked to talk about yourself and your experience. It's important to practice your elevator pitch and your responses to common questions that you may be asked. This will help you to feel more confident and prepared during the call.
One way to practice your elevator pitch and responses to common questions is to do mock interviews with friends or family members. This will give you an opportunity to receive feedback and make any necessary adjustments to your pitch and responses. Additionally, you can record yourself practicing and watch the playback to identify areas for improvement. Remember, the more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you will become in networking situations.
Preparing notes and materials to have on hand during the call
During the call, you may want to reference notes or materials that you've prepared in advance. This could include your resume, a list of your accomplishments, or a copy of your LinkedIn profile. Having these materials on hand will ensure that you don't forget anything important during the call.
Another important thing to consider when preparing notes and materials for a call is to make sure they are organized and easily accessible. You don't want to waste time shuffling through papers or searching for files on your computer during the call. Consider creating a folder or document specifically for the call, with all the relevant materials in one place.
It's also a good idea to practice referencing your notes and materials before the call. This will help you become familiar with the information and ensure that you can easily find what you need during the call. You could even do a mock call with a friend or family member to practice using your notes and materials in a realistic setting.
Tips for making a great first impression on the call
First impressions are important, even on a networking call. To make a great first impression, be sure to speak clearly, listen actively, and be enthusiastic about the opportunity to connect with someone at the company. You should also be prepared to ask thoughtful questions and to share your own experience and knowledge about the industry.
Another important tip for making a great first impression on a networking call is to do your research beforehand. Take some time to learn about the company and the person you will be speaking with. This will show that you are genuinely interested in the opportunity and have taken the initiative to prepare for the call. Additionally, make sure to dress professionally, even if the call is over the phone. This will help you feel confident and ready to make a positive impression.
Following up after the call with a thank you note and further questions if necessary
After your networking call, be sure to send a thank you note to the person you spoke with. In your note, express your appreciation for their time and reiterate your interest in the company. You may also want to ask any follow-up questions that you didn't get a chance to during the call.
Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that following up after the call is not a one-time event. It's important to continue to nurture the relationship by staying in touch periodically. This can be done through email, social media, or even by sending articles or resources that may be of interest to the person you spoke with. By maintaining a positive and professional relationship, you increase the likelihood of future opportunities and referrals.
Common mistakes to avoid during a Strategy& management consulting networking call
There are a few common mistakes that job seekers make during networking calls. To avoid these mistakes, be sure to listen actively, ask thoughtful questions, and avoid talking too much about yourself. You should also avoid asking directly for a job or coming across as too pushy or aggressive.
By following these tips and preparing for your networking call in advance, you'll be well on your way to landing your dream job in the consulting industry.
Another important mistake to avoid during a networking call is not doing enough research on the person you are speaking with. It's important to know their background, their role in the company, and any recent projects they have worked on. This will not only show that you are genuinely interested in their work, but it will also help you ask more targeted and relevant questions. Additionally, make sure to follow up with a thank-you email or message after the call to show your appreciation for their time and insights.