Informational interviewing is different from doing a traditional job search because it’s the job seeker who does the asking. For most job seekers, this is uncharted territory and can lead to wasting a good opportunity. To make sure that you do a good job on your first informational interview, here are some ideas to help you.
Start with your current network – It’s easier to approach people with whom you already have a connection with than a total stranger. Therefore, you’ll have better results if you start with people you know.
Don’t hesitate; just start asking – You don’t have to think twice about asking for a meeting from someone. As long as their schedule permits it, you can bet they’ll go. People just love to talk about themselves, and when given the opportunity to do so, most people won’t pass it up.
Really do an informational interview – Sure, the reason you’re doing it is not really to gain information but to get a job. Nevertheless, don’t waste the opportunity to establish a connection with the person and learn a thing or two.
Keep in touch – Like most connections, if the connection made during an informational interview is not nurtured, it will fade away and lose its value. On the other hand, if you follow up and build upon it, you’ll gain the maximum value from it.
Be prepared – If it’s the first time that you’re going to meet, it’s even more vital that you read up on the person and really know who he or she is. If you meet with a person for an informational interview without sufficient preparation, you’re going to miss out on gaining a valuable resource.
Ask for new connections – When you build strong connections, asking for new connections is easy. You’ll then have access to new opportunities that you wouldn’t have been able to get on your own.
Different things work for different people. If traditional job search methods aren’t working for you, informational interviews are a great way to establish new connections and find more opportunities for you to get a job.