So… what’s an information interview, anyway?
Basically, it’s a conversation with someone who works in your field or at a company you’re pursuing. It allows you to not only put your name out there, but it also provides an opportunity to gain insights that you might not find with basic online research.
How might a typical informational interview play out?
There are a few ways you can approach an informational interview with someone. You can invite the person to grab coffee with you, ask if he or she would be interested in a brief phone call, or simply have a conversation via email. These are all great ways to start a conversation and learn more about what interests you.
Who should I be interviewing, and how should I ask for one?
The first thing you need to do, and hear me out, is make a list of all of the career paths that interest you. If your list gets lengthy, narrow it down to 2-3 that really pump you up. Then, identify people in your area or on LinkedIn who work in those fields and extend the invitation to connect. If someone accepts your invitation, do a little victory dance and send a follow-up message thanking them for connecting! Also mention that you’re curious about their industry, and ask if they would be willing to have a brief conversation with you about it. Not all invitations will be accepted, but it’s always worth taking that leap of faith to ask!
What kinds of questions might I consider asking during this interview?
In order to get the most out of these conversations, you need to ask meaningful questions. Here are a few example questions that you might want to jot down.
- What do you love most about your job?
- How did you end up working here?
- What’s the most surprising thing you learned about doing this job?
- What kinds of projects do you get to work on?
- How would you describe your company culture?
Informational interviews will allow you to spice up your network, learn more about interesting companies, and achieve that connection-ready status. For additional help, reach out to Longwood University Career Services today to schedule an appointment!