Asking someone to talk about one’s career for thirty minutes is not easy, and it isn’t always professional to make career moves through chit-chatting. It helps to conduct informational interviews to gain deeper insight into a specific field. Doing this also builds your network, bringing possible opportunities along the way. But how can you make use of informational interviews to break into the job market? Get started by following the tips below.
1. Contact Your Networks. Start by hitting up your family, friends, undergrad alumni networks and others. It’s recommended to meet up with those that are involved in a job of interest to you.
2. Schedule a Meeting. Have the courage to ask. Schedule a meeting and tell them you’re interested in learning about their career paths and success tools. It may be awkward, but you have to let them know your desire to pursue the same career. What’s the harm in asking? Would you turn down a similar request if someone asked you for an interview?
3. Learn. Conducting informational interviews is not all about getting a job. In order to plan and position yourself for your next job search, you have to learn about other people’s experiences and what helped them achieve their goals. Ask questions and engage in conversation to get advice on your career path.
4. Don’t Beg for a Job. This is an absolute no-no. Remember that an informational interview is supposed to be an opportunity to build your network and learn. Know what makes an applicant successful and get advice on how you can succeed.
5. Keep in Touch. It’s important to maintain the relationship after the interview to build a stable network. Eventually, it’ll be easier to ask for job opportunities in the future. It is possible to get that unexpected call from one of your contacts offering you a job simply because you were able to maintain the connection.
6. Prepare. Do your research before going to the interview. Conducting informational interviews won’t do you any good if you look clueless.
7. Follow Up. Thank and stay in touch with your contacts to keep them updated on your job search and goals. If all goes well, you may be in a comfortable spot where you can discuss your resume, options, prospective employers and how to be a prime candidate among other applicants.
8. Expand your network. Set up meetings with other people they know who may be instrumental to your job search. Expect your network to expand, increasing your chances of developing your career path. Anyone in your connections can give you the break you’ve been waiting for.
Informational interviews are worth the time and effort, so don’t procrastinate—start today.