If you want to land a great job after college, you need to connection ready. In order to do that, you have to be strategic and intentional with your networking efforts. That’s where informational interviews come in.

What's an informational interview?

An informational interview is a conversation that allows job seekers, career changers, and college students the chance to learn more about a particular field or career they’re interested in pursuing. It’s also a great way to build a strategic network that will help you down the line.

How do informational interviews work?

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 the field or career you’re interested in.

Who should I interview?

The first thing you need to do is to make a list of all of the career paths that interest you. If there are a lot on your list, narrow it down to 2-3 that really get you excited. Then, identify people in your area or on LinkedIn who work in those fields and extend an invitation to connect.

How do I ask for an informational interview?

If someone accepts your invitation, send a follow up message thanking him or her for connecting, tell him or her that you’re curious about their industry, and ask if he or she would be willing to have a brief conversation with you about it. They won’t always say yes, but it’s always worth asking!

Networking plays such a critical role when it comes to landing a job, especially your first job after college. However, if you’re just connecting with a bunch of random people, it’s not going to help you get where you want to go. That’s why it’s important to be as intentional as possible.

Informational interviews will allow you to learn about fields you’re interested in, meet people who work in those fields, and start to build strategic relationships while you’re still in school. For more help, book an appointment with Longwood University Career Services.


About the Author

Ariella Coombs

Over the last 4 years, Ariella has been creating fun, yet educational blog posts and videos to help professionals build the career lifestyle they want. Her work has been featured in 12+ online publications, including TeenVogue, Business Insider, H&R Block, USA TODAY College, and more. One day, she hopes to host my own TV or web show for career-minded millennials.

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