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5 Steps to Setting up Your Informational Interviews

informational interview

informational interviewInformational interviews are easy to set up and will give you an instant advantage over other entry-level job seekers. Plus, they are well worth doing.

  1. Identify contacts to reach out to-But where and how can you find them?
  • Go through warm leads first-friends, family, former co-workers. Ask them to connect you with people they know. Send an email to those people to ask for introductions. Ask them at an event if you see them in person. Look on linkedin to see who they are connected to, and ask them for introductions to specific people you think you’d like to talk to.
  • Think about other existing networking connections you have. Peers at other companies. People you have met at conferences or association meetings. Scan your contacts list in your phone just in case.
  • Check with your alumni association and search their directory online to find people with the job titles you want to learn more about, or at the companies you want to target.
  • Look for companies you want to apply to and consider contacting someone cold if you have to. Email the person who has the type of job you want. Follow up with a phone call. You never know who will say yes to you and if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
  1. Reach out and request the time
  • We suggest sending them an email first, then follow up with phone call a few days later if no word back. This doesn’t put them on the spot over the phone right away. But the personal phone call shows you are serious and professional.
  • Make sure the subject line says referred by X person, fellow X alumnus, something to get them to open the email in the first place.
  • Craft the email saying: I am a marketing associate, with a background in graphic arts and social media, looking to conduct an informational interview for 15-20 minutes with you to learn more about your position as a marketing director. I’d like to learn (how to put my best foot forward in my search, learn more about X company, learn more about what it’s like to work in X role…..) I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in person or over the phone. I’m available in the next week at XX times.
  1. Confirm the meeting and prepare
  • Craft your questions. Decide what you want to ask them (what is a typical day like, what do you like best and least about your job, who best succeeds in this type of role, etc.) Always end with: Is there anyone else you think it would be helpful for me to talk to? And, how can I help you?
  • Send them your questions. This shows you are prepared and are not going to take too much of their time.
  • Look thru their linkedin profile to see if they have any connections you would like to be introduced to.
  • Give them your cell phone and get theirs in case of a last minute issue the day of the meeting.
  1. Conduct the meeting
  • Dress professionally. Bring your business cards and resume. Imagine you’re on an interview, act professionally at all times. Be mindful of their time-don’t go overboard. Be ok with guiding the conversation. You may have to do that in order to get the information you need and stay on time.
  1. Follow up
  • At the end of the meeting ask them, can we stay in touch? If so what is the best way to do that? Connect with them on linkedin and write a handwritten note – not an email! was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Since 2002, the company’s team of certified career coaches have helped thousands of job seekers worldwide identify their ideal career path, navigate their career transition and achieve their career goals. Schedule a free consult with today to learn more about our services.

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