The last post Stop Spinning Your Career Search Wheels – Informational Interviews Part One explained why an informational interview is effective. So now you know the “why” here are some top tips to help you with the “how” of the informational interview.
- Come prepared with a 30 second elevator pitch on who you are and why you are there. See my earlier blog post Riding in an Elevator with Your Future CEO who some further information an your personal marketing statement.
- Never directly ask for a job – the purpose of the informational interview is to find out more about the company and the position. It is used to identify if the field, position and company are a good match for you.
- Research the company and the position.
- Come prepared to take notes.
- Bring your resume and ask for feedback.
- Develop a list of questions. You are the one in control of this type of interview. Pick out four or five questions. Some examples:
What is your job like?
How would you describe a typical day?
What do you like most about your job? Least?
What jobs and experience have led to your present employment?
Are there expectations outside work hours?
What is the best way to enter this occupation?
- Be aware of the time. Most informational interviews last 20-30 minutes.
- Ask if you may stay in contact and follow up. It is always good to stay connected with people.
- Always send a thank you note (email is fine)
- Always get referrals – ask if there are other people in the industry that may be helpful to talk with.