An Informational Interview is an informal meeting in which a potential interviewee seeks advice on their career and the opportunities in a potential future workplace; while the interviewer learns about the job seeker and judges their professional caliber.
They are essential in gathering information about the field and the companies they are interested in.The conversation is not about hiring. It provides a non-threatening forum for both the sides with an easy flow of information between them. It is a good tool to use when you want to explore options before fully committing or feel stuck in a job search rut.
Read on for some tips and advices on how to tackle and crack an Informational Interview.
Where should I start?
A good place to start is within yourprofessional network. Reach out to someone with whom you are comfortable. It is recommended to ask a mutual contact to make an introduction first if reaching outside of your network.Always state your reason for contacting and keep it brief.
What should I expect?
These interviews are usually 30-minute long exploratory discussions where you ask the questions and doubts. The biggest mistake anyone can make is being unprepared with questions. Create a list of specific questions that are focused on your aim. Informational interviews are usually casual and conversational
What should I do after the interview?
It is a smart move to ask if there is anyone that they think you should meet with next. Request them to forward any news or job-openings related to the role you are searching for. Thank the person for taking out time from their schedule to meet with you, and send an appreciative follow up e-mail.