Dropping names in an interview?
Should you, shouldn’t you?
If you should then how should you?
I have been involved withinterviews for senior management positions and I noticed this rather charming trick of dropping names by asking ‘Oh, you were at the Taj, would you know so-n-so?’
It is cute. But here are my reservations to the deed:
1. If the interviewer does not know the people you mention, it first becomes uncomfortable, and then outright embarrassing for them. Not a good place to put the person who is there to decide about you.
2. If the interviewer does know them, and does not have a good equation with them, it could turn ugly. You singing praises of them will only make theinterviewer rethink your ability to judge human character.
3. If the interviewer does know them, and knows them well to call them friends, your strategy might pay off, if they too speak highly of you. Casually mentioning somebody senior, then realizing they may not remember you, may work just the opposite.
I would resist creating adhoc relationships in the span of an interview, but If you have to, do the following:
1. Research the interviewer. Places of work, memberships, alumni, face book etc.
2. Call up people you think he/she might know and ask them about theinterviewer. If the people you know give you a go-ahead to drop their names inthe interview, by all means go ahead.
So go ahead, show the interviewer you know the right people and that the they know you too, only make sure it’s the ‘interviewer right’ kind of right people!