Whether you are a seasoned professional looking to move further up the corporate ladder or a fresh faced graduate looking for break into a new position, the informational interview is a priceless resource for career planning and work place research. In this blog post, we introduce various tips and tricks for finding success in your next informational interview.
Before you can conduct a quality interview with a potential employer, you must find an individual in the company with experience that interests you and that is willing and able to meet with you. When you conduct an informational interview, be sure to do the following five things.
1. Follow their lead.
Keep in mind that the individual you chose to interview is sure to have a busy schedule and that by agreeing to meet with you they are fitting you into what is already a hectic day. Be sure they know that you are flexible and are willing to meet either in person or over the phone. Cater to their schedule at all times.
2. Take in new knowledge.
Don’t focus on using interviews with these people for a new job, but rather, new insights into their position. These conversations are informational interviews, meaning that they have a tremendous potential to help you learn.
3. Expand your network.
View informational interviews as an opportunity to grow a professional relationship and enrich the size of your professional network. Remember this is an opportunity for professional comradery, not a job interview.
4. Only schedule when you are ready.
There is nothing worse than making an appointment that your schedule won’t really allow for or that you haven’t thoroughly prepared for. If things are hectic at work or you simply aren’t prepared, do not waste your interviewee’s time; you run the risk of being seen as unprofessional.
5. Do your homework.
Possibly the most important aspect of preparing for a successful informational interview lies in the research. If you are conducting an interview with someone that works for a company you are interested in, learn all the reasons why that company interests you. If you are interested in the type of position this individual works in, be sure to understand their responsibilities and work enough prior to the interview that you could prepare well-thought out questions.
These tips are sure to get you well on your way to having a positive and professional informational interview experience. Be sure to check back next week as we introduce a series of questions that will help you get the most out of your next informational interview.
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