Attend Events: Seek networking events and conferences to meet industry professionals.
Follow Up and Nurture Relationships: Stay connected and show genuine interest.
Informational Interviews are a great tool for exploring career options. The structure is different from a regular interview.
Interviewee: Someone who works in a job/industry of interest
There are several reasons for someone to do an informational interview:
To learn more about a job/career to see if it matches your interests
To gain insights/advice from someone in your desired field/career on how to be a competitive candidate for roles in the industry
To build your network in a field of interest
To explore options for a career transition
Expand the sections below to learn how to prepare for an informational interview.
Identify Your Objectives
Before scheduling an informational interview, clarify your goals and what you hope to gain from the conversation. Do you want to learn about a specific job role, industry trends, or career advice? Having a clear objective will help guide your questions and make the most of your time.
Research and Prepare
Take the time to research the person you'll be interviewing. Learn about their background, current role, and any relevant projects or accomplishments. This preparation shows your genuine interest and allows for more meaningful conversations.
Reach Out Professionally
When reaching out to professionals for informational interviews, be polite, concise, and professional in your communication. Clearly explain why you are interested in speaking with them, and express gratitude for their time.
Prepare a list of thoughtful and relevant questions to ask during the interview. These can include inquiries about their career trajectory, challenges and opportunities in the industry, skills and qualifications needed, and their advice for someone starting in the field. Make sure to listen actively and take notes during the conversation.
Remember that professionals are taking time out of their busy schedules to speak with you. Be punctual, respect the agreed-upon time limit, and be mindful not to exceed it unless the interviewee indicates they have more time available. Show appreciation for their insights and thank them for their time.
Informational interviews are not just about gathering information; they also provide an opportunity to build meaningful connections. Be genuine, engage in authentic conversations, and express your gratitude. Follow up with a personalized thank-you note or email, and consider staying in touch periodically to nurture the relationship.
Reflect and Apply Insights
After the informational interview, take time to reflect on the insights gained. Consider how the information aligns with your goals and aspirations. Use the knowledge acquired to refine your career plans, make informed decisions, and potentially explore new avenues within your field of interest.