An informational interview is a conversation with an industry professional about their work, company, or field. It doesn’t end in a job offer, so what’s the point of requesting one? We have the answer to that below along with some tips on how to make it through your first informational interview.
Why Request an Informational Interview?
Informational interviews provide opportunities to learn more about an industry or company. Additionally, they allow you to gain the type of personal insight into your field of interest you can’t find online. Why not find out more about your favorite company or your intended field from an insider’s perspective?
How to Request an Informational Interview
If you know someone who works for your favorite company, reach out and ask them to coffee. People like to share information about their work, and whether or not they are involved in the hiring process, it’s always great to make a new connection. It’s scary to reach out to someone you’ve never met before and ask them to have a conversation with you.
First, see if you have any sort of connection that could help you get a foot in the door. For example, most colleges and universities have a campus career center that keeps track of alumni and can connect you to someone in your field. Who knows? There might be an alum working in your dream job or at your dream company, and what a great opportunity to reach out!
How to Prepare
First things first: though this isn’t a job interview, make sure you are prepared to talk about yourself. Whoever you meet with will expect you to talk about your professional experiences and skills as well as your career aspirations. Secondly, research your interviewee! You will want to ask them specific questions about their career and how they got into the industry.
During the Interview
In your interview, see if you can make any other networking connections. If the interviewee mentions anyone they think you should get to know, ask for their contact information or if they can connect you. If you are given any referrals, make use of those connections!
Make sure you’re keeping track of the time. You don’t want to impose on your interviewee. Jennifer Winter of the Muse advises, “When you have about 10 minutes left before your meeting is scheduled to end, casually mention that you want to be ‘mindful of her time’ and note the time you have left.”
After the Interview
Last but not least, always, always, always write a thank you note! Not only does it show that you recognize their time is valuable, but it keeps the connection open.
If you’re trying to get a job in your dream industry, contact Staffers today! We want to help you find a job that will put you on the path to achieving your career goals. We can help you find temp, temp-to-perm, or direct hire positions in office clerical and administrative positions in the Jackson metro area.