Name Dropping During Interviews: Is It a Wise Thing to Do?

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Job interviews Don’t resort to name dropping during interviews. It may hurt your chances of getting a job.

Being well networked can do wonders for your career and having a connection at a company where you are seeking employment can be a good thing. However, dropping their names during your interview may do you more harm than good. Experts agree that dropping names during interviews, especially when done without any tact, is one of the surest ways to turn off your hiring manager.

People who drop names are seen as pretentious, egotistical and insecure. So, instead of impressing your hiring manager and getting a job offer, referencing an important contact in an unsolicited fashion during the interview may sabotage your career without you even knowing it.

If you really want to impress your hiring manager by letting him or her know that you have an important contact in the company,  here are some tips that you may want to consider:

Be discreet. Establish a rapport with your hiring manager and mention the name of your contact only when asked. For example, it would be okay to let your hiring manager know whom you know in the company if he or she asked how you heard about the job.

Get permission. Let your connection know that you may use his or her name when the situation warrants it. Remember, there is a chance that your interviewer might give your contact a call. Another reason why you need to let your contact know that you will be using his or her name is that you have no idea on what your interviewer thinks about him. It is good if your interviewer thinks favorably of your connection since it can increase your chances of making a good impression. However, the reverse is also true so use name dropping with extreme caution.

Use this tactic sparingly. Dropping too many names can put you in a negative light. It can give the impression that you are a network fanatic who is always on the lookout for new jobs. Some people may also get the impression that you are arrogant, and that you are more concerned about flash than substance.

Name dropping during interviews can be tricky. You will never know whether it would work for or against your favor so if you have a choice, don’t use this tactic. Instead of dropping names, spend your time researching the latest developments about the company. Showing your interest by demonstrating your knowledge in the company will impress your hiring manager more than simply telling him or her who your contacts are.