Tech & Work

Quiz: What type of career networker are you?

Networking is an important part of the job search. Here's a quiz you can take to determine just how good you are at it.

Michelle Tillis Lederman author of The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking . . . Because People Do Business with People They Like, sent me this quiz you can use to determine your networking talent.

1. When you are in a group at a networking event and someone says something that you relate to, what do you do?

a. Say nothing.

b. Say nothing but make a mental note or jot it down on the back of their card.

c. Look for your opportunity to interject the thought into the conversation.

d. Interrupt with enthusiasm over the fact that you have something in common.

2. When a new person wanders over to the group your are speaking with, what do you do?

a. Nothing.

b. Shift your body to give them room in the circle, make eye contact or smile.

c. Wait for an opportunity to ask them their opinion and bring them into the conversation.

d. Stop the conversation and welcome him/her in.

3. How often do you eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a different person per week?

a. 0 times per week

b. 1 - 3 times per week

c. 4 - 6 times per week

d. > 7 times per week

4. How many different organizations, groups, or clubs are you an active member in?

a. None

b. 1 - 2 organizations

c. 3 - 5 organizations

d. > 6 organizations

5. What percent of the new people you meet do you follow up with?

a. < 25%

b. 26% - 49%

c. 50% - 74%

d. > 75%

6. How quickly do you follow up with a new contact?

a. Within a month, if ever

b. Over a week

c. Within 2 - 4 days

d. Same or next day

7. Which is the most common way you meet new people?

a. They find me.

b. Someone offers to introduce me.

c. I ask friends for warm introductions.

d. I search people out and contact them directly.

8. When are you most likely to reach out to your network?

a. I don't.

b. When they reach out to me.

c. On a regular basis when there is a reason (i.e. Birthday, job opportunity, change in situation, etc.)

d. On daily basis.

9. You end a conversation with someone when . . .

a. They end it with me

b. The conversation becomes stilted or I think they don't want to talk anymore.

c. When I know how I will follow up.

d. When I am ready to talk to someone else or see someone I want to talk to.

10. People regularly reach out to you (check all that apply)

a. For a contact

b. For an introduction

c. To ask for a favor

d. To request you speak to a friend

e. To ask for advice

f. To request you or your services on a project

g. To say hello and catch up

h. To invite you to something

Scoring: For questions 1 -- 9, score as follows:

A answers -- 1 point

B answers -- 2 points

C answers -- 3 points

D answers -- 4 points

For question 10, give yourself 1 point for every answer you circled. Total up your score and read your Networking style below.

9 - 14 points: The Observer.

You tend to hang back in a crowd. You watch what is going on, but don't get involved. You never initiate and rarely follow up on making new connections. The result, your network is small and you are not in the front of people's minds as a resource. If you are uncomfortable, make slight changes. Consider making the follow up via email or through social media. If you prefer one on one -- invite someone to lunch. If the group is easier at first, then tag along or ask to join a group that has room for one more at the table. Look for situations that match your style and comfort until you get used to joining in.

15 - 24 points: The Reactor.

You are interested in making those new connections but feel more comfortable when someone else takes the lead. You can get stuck keeping a conversation flowing. You are responsive to others' attempts to connect and follow up more frequently when in response to something specific. You take a subtle approach though sometimes       your comfort and confidence may get in your way. You are on the right track. Stretch a little more and you will gain comfort. Set a goal to initiate a conversation once a week and to find a reason to reach out to a new contact. Don't doubt they want you to -- you are not the type that comes on too strong so don't worry about feeling like a nuisance.

25 - 37 points: The Initiator.

You are actively networking and taking a balanced approach. You seek opportunities, include others in the conversation, and follow up regularly. People think about you for a variety of reasons and you are effectively staying in the front of their minds. Keep doing what's working.

38 - 44 points: The Director.

You are strategic and methodical about networking. It is high on your priority list and you take a numbers approach. You are involved in many organizations which increases your familiarity since you or your name pops up everywhere. Your approach may feel insincere or over the top for some. Give people some breathing room and use a lighter touch when reaching out. Seek to connect beyond the surface topics that come up in business. Make sure people feel you value the time you are spending with them and not looking for the next or more interesting contact in the room. Don't pull back too much, simply consider your timing, frequency, and depth of conversation.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.


If you put so much energy in networking, you can forget the real good contacts you have made in the past. If you lose their confidence, it's very hard to regain it (this applies also for new contacts that aren't followed up)


I do most of the stuff that I used as fodder for answering the questions, online. Facebook, email (personal and work blogs), and Linked-In. I do not see colleagues face to face much these days since I am basically a teleworker and get on a plane to go visit customers.


A really interesting article as usual Toni. What surprised me after reading the article and taking the quiz was the lack of responses. There's often a flood of discussion on TR articles, especially when there's a quiz, scores to compare and anecdotes to share, but not this one. Is the topic of networking generally of less interest to the more technically focussed? Speaking personally, having spent many years in technical positions (in big companies, involving a lot of task-specific online activity) I now find myself in an academic role where pro-active networking is a key skill. It's been a fairly steep learning curve and the quiz has helped to point me in the right direction on a few things. Thanks.


bhome, In true Director style, you seem to have missed the sarcasm, and have managed to sound condescending. A real geek would never do the former. I challenge your geek credentials, sir/ma'am. (sound of glove hitting cheek)


Everyone is a little insecure. I sure was at a younger age. People are fascinating to watch and deal with - with the exception of the few who are out for themselves. A chance to help out is the best way to feel satisfied and be included. My score? Near the upper end of "The Initiator". That means I can come on too strong at times, but I do get things done with a happy crew. I'm an ubber geek though, and normal human stuff can confuse me (to no end sometimes!). A dysfunctional geek if you will. Always remember kismert, the worst response to a question might be "no". It will not kill you. Just don;t go on about stuff you don't know well and you'll be fine. Sticking to facts will help, and that is always appreciated by management. "I don't know" is one of the best ways to be honest too (if that is really the case).

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

But mainly because I've stopped going to events like that. They are full of Plastic People trying to impress other Plastic People and they all are out to make a Billion $ then retire in the next 2 days ideally. The Suits in their expensive cars who have no idea of what it is that they are supposed to be doing drive me crazy so I avoid them like the plague now. It's much easier that way than trying to explain why you just hit one in the mouth and left then crying on the floor. ;) Col


I'm one of those horrid, introverted 'Observers'. Better plan for my future life living under a bridge, and scrounging for grocery carts to carry my life around with. Seriously, how many tech geeks do you think are really 'Initiators' or 'Directors'? Not many -- with a few notable exceptions, there seems to be an inverse relationship between social talent and programming talent. Maybe it's just sour grapes -- if I scored 'better' on the quiz, I'd be more chipper. But for now, I'll concentrate on being less dead weight conversationally.

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