Interviewing Vs. Networking: Look What I Can Do!


November 4, 2011

I’ve been thinking about interviews and networking and whether there is much of a difference.  I think there is and I wish interviews were more like networking.

When you’re networking, you may feel anxious about meeting new people and talking about yourself.  Typically, it’s not that bad though because you’re talking in a more casual atmosphere where the expectations are different.  It’s easier to share stories about yourself without feeling like you’re bragging.  Interviews are a completely different animal.  After all, something is on the line.  A job.

In an interview, you have all eyes on you.  Personally, I have always felt like that character Spencer from Mad TV, the one who says, “Look what I can do! Look what I can do!” 

Stuart- Look What I Can Do!  (Click through for the video. He says it at the 1:45 mark.)

As an interviewer, I always do my best to make the person feel comfortable and just have a conversation.  Sure, I work in some questions that will allow them to demonstrate their knowledge, but I’m not there to try to trick them with the hardest question ever.  If I did, what would that say about me?

Have you interviewed someone or been interviewed lately?  What worked and what didn’t?  What advice do you have for people preparing to have to talk about themselves for several hours?  Share your stories in the comments.


  • Trish, I agree with you here. My style has always been laid back, with some structure (to ensure I really get the information I need out of the interview). I beleive that I get better information and a better feel for the candidate if I can put them at ease and get them to really talk and not just answer questions.

    • @Jenny- Knowing you, that style makes sense. I can see how the approach really helps you get to the heart of a situation and dig deeper than some of the traditional interviewing questions might. It’s my style too. Thanks for sharing!

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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