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The A-Z’s of Informational Interviews

informational interview

informational interviewInformational interviews involve connecting with someone at a company in a field or industry that you’d like to learn more about, and then making an appointment to talk about what it’s like to work there and career opportunities in the industry or at their firm. They are easy to set up and will give you an instant advantage over other entry-level job seekers. Well worth doing. But many people don’t use these as a tool for networking! And they need to… Here’s what you need to know about the informational interview – from beginning to end.

They are good for:

  1.    Vetting out a career path for your long term direction
  2.    Vetting out a specific role
  3.    Vetting out an industry
  4.    Vetting out a company
  5.    Networking-expand your network
  6.    Learning how to put your best foot forward in your job search
  7.    Getting a job

People avoid conducting informational interviews for many reasons. If you fall into that category, give some thought to what’s holding you back. Here are the common reasons we find people don’t use these as a networking tool:

  1.    They don’t know what they are-7 out of 10 of our new clients don’t know what they are, or they are not using them correctly.
  2.    Too shy-Info interviews can be intimidating because you may be talking to someone you admire or look up to/want to be like, and it’s scary to reach out to someone we don’t know much less someone we look up to.
  3.    They’re afraid they’ll get ignored or rejected-that is never fun although it is just part of putting yourself out there.
  4.    Many people think it’s for new grads or college students only-not true! We have clients of all ages conduct info interviews with great success. An executive at Kimberly Clark once said to our client, I have never had anyone use this tool with me and it’s a great idea!
  5.   Honestly, some people become lazy or complacent-Info interviews take time and effort and with our busy schedules, it’s easier to not put forth the effort.

Hallie Crawford is a certified career coach and founder of Her team of coaches helps people find their dream job and make it a reality. She is regularly featured as an expert in the media including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and US News & World Report. Visit her website at for more information about her teams career coaching services and to sign up for a complimentary consultation.

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