Informational Interviews-All you need to know!

What is an informational interview?

An Informational Interview is a meeting in which a potential job seeker seeks advice on their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future workplace; while an employed professional learns about the job seeker and judges their professional potential.

Why have an informational Interview?

There are lots reasons to have informational interviews:

  1. Explore careers and get more clarity around your career goals before making a long term commitment
  2. Expand your professional network
  3. Build confidence for your job interviews
  4. Get the most up to date career information
  5. Identify your professional strengths and weaknesses

How to ask for an informational interview:

  1. Do your research. Familiarize yourself further with both the company and your interviewee before you meet them. Go through their professional history.

2. Decide on which questions to ask. You’ve exhausted what you can read about them online and elsewhere. Now identify what information you’re lacking. Don’t ask questions where you can find the answer.

3. Prepare your “elevator speech. ” Rehearse a short intro to start the interview. Plan to reintroduce yourself, explain what sort of position you are pursuing.

10 great questions to ask in an informational interview:

  1. Why did you decide to work in this industry?
  2. What part of this job do you find most satisfying? most challenging?
  3. How did you get your job?
  4. What opportunities for advancement are there in this field?
  5. What entry level jobs are best for learning as much as possible?
  6. What training or education is required for this type of work?
  7. What personal qualities or abilities are important to being successful in this job?
  8. How do you see jobs in this field changing in the future?
  9. Is there a demand for people in this career path?
  10. What special advice would you give a person entering this field?

Final thoughts:

  1. Respect the professionals time…keep it to 20 minutes.
  2. Thank them for their time.
  3. Ask if they recommend you speak with anyone else regarding opportunities or advice.
  4. Send a thank you note.
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