by Denise Anne Taylor aka CAREERMEDIC™
What is an Informational Interview?
Informational Interviewing is a great way to explore a potential career or company culture from someone in that industry who is a professional contact on the inside. It allows you to ask questions and determine possibilities.
First steps to information gathering...
Who should you interview? How do you find the right person to interview? Tip: Ask family, friends and business contacts to point you in the right direction by getting a referral.
Step 1: How to schedule the Informational Interview...
OUTREACH. Zero-in on the referred contact and connect through a professional network (LinkedIn), email or by phone. Email is typically the preferred method of initial contact.
Step 2: Setting up the Informational Interview...
CONNECT. Interviewing someone can be intimidating. Mention the name of the person who referred you, state your interest in gathering information and ask for 20 minutes of their time.
Step 3: How to schedule the Informational Interview...
MEETUP. Arrange your meeting. Make sure the person knows you are looking for information only and that you are not asking for a job interview. Build trust. Stay to the 20 minute time-frame.
Step 4: Show Appreciation.
GRATITUDE. Be sure to send a handwritten thank you note or email within 24 hours. Thank your contact for their time and expertise in helping you along on your career pathway.
Final Thoughts: The Informational Interview.
Keep a list of leads or other contacts generated along the way. You have just begun the first steps to professional networking and building contacts that can help you achieve your career goals.