Networking & the Art of Cocktail Parties

A UQLS Professional Development Week Event.

New interview process:

  • Many law firms have a cocktail party as part of the recruitment process (informally)
  • Looking at interpersonal skills
  • Hold conversations with everyone?
    • Build client relationships
    • Knowledge of the company
    • Come prepared to the event
    • Ability to be fluid in conversations and things

Standing out

  • Different from competitors

Preparing for event

  • Setting objectives
    • Purpose
  • Why are you attending?
  • I.e.: meet 3 new people (Personal)
  • More info on company (professional)
  • Projecting confidence
  • Career opportunities
    • What do you want to accomplish on a personal and professional level
  • Research
    • Partner profiles
    • Whose on the guest list (ask)
    • What groups are they from
    • Current deals of the company
    • Company in press and media
    • Changes in legislation which impact a practice specialisation area
  • Know the location
    • Don’t be late, ever.
  • Make yourself memorable
    • Ten sec soundbite about you
    • Some response to ‘tell me a bit about you’
  • Topics of conversation
    • Away from politics religion
    • Have 3 general topis of conversation to use to support objectives
    • I.e. want to learn something from a particular group, have that as a topic of convo
    • Newspaper/current affairs
    • Talking about the vent you’re at/weather/sport/etc
    • Show own personality -> interests etc (travel/sport etc)
    • Mix of legal and everyday conversations
    • Professional or casual approach -> both okay

During the event

  • Enter the room
    • Survey the room, see who is there and try and identify people
    • Open body language/smile/eye contact
  • Intro yourself
    • Break the ice, be the one to initiate things
    • Find someone else who is by themselves etc
    • Everyone’s scared
  • Making a connection
    • Something to relate
    • Something that links you to the person
    • Listen, talking 20% of the time, listening 80%
  • Remembering names
  • Joining individuals and groups
    • Find another lonely person
    • Find a group 2/3 join that
    • Look at body language -> intense convo’s no join
    • Groups are hard, 4+ especially, find groups with a slot
  • Leaving someone/group to move onto another conversation
    • Nice meeting you etc
    • Perfectly okay with just saying you need to duck off
    • Probably just don’t disappear
  • Don’t monopolise
  • Pace your drinking
  • Listen and ask questions
  • Be prepare to talk about firm
  • Follow ups
    • Don’t hesitate to ask for business cards
    • Follow up emails etc for thank yous -> only a few
    • If you have specialised interest
  • Find those people
  • But still get to know lots of people
  • Often all partners decide, so you want them all to sorta know you
    • Send thank you to the host if appropriate
    • Do a bit of reflection
  • Did you achieve what you wanted?

What looking for

  • Strong communication
  • Knowledge of company
  • Genuine interest in building career
  • Enthusiastic