Are you a military-experienced job seeker? If so, it’s important to be aware of best practices for informational interviews. Informational interviews are one-on-one meetings where you can learn about companies, various positions and other related information that may help guide you in your job search journey.
To help you get the most out of informational interviews, here are some tips you may want to consider:
Have an elevator pitch ready
It’s important to have a short, concise introduction describing yourself and what you are trying to do. Make sure not to hesitate once you have the interviewer’s attention. The last thing you want to do is waste their time. You want to make sure you can clearly get your point across.
When setting up a meeting, make sure to treat the interviewer with respect and set the tone for professionalism. On the day of the interview, this includes showing up on time, and respecting the time allotted. Don’t ask about openings. Keep in mind that you are there to learn more about the industry you’re interested in and ask for potential steps you can take for your next move.
It is best to ask open-ended or follow-up questions of the interviewer—It indicates that you are listening. This will help build your personal brand during the conversation. Taking notes without making eye contact and not asking questions is not a sign of a proactive job seeker.
Ask for advice
Feel free to ask for guidance on the next steps to take after the interview. Does the interviewer know several people who can help you gain more knowledge about the field you’re interested in? Are there any sources you can read? Ask permission if you can follow up with future questions should you need their help.
Express your gratitude
After the interview, don’t forget to send a thank-you email or letter. Don’t forget to follow up in a few weeks or so with updates regarding your job search and other details the interviewer might be interested in knowing about. Once you land a job, reach out to everyone who has helped you along the way, and don’t hesitate to lend them help in return.