9 Essential Tips To Secure An Informational Interview

Did you know that 85% of jobs are secured through networking?

Whether it’s in person or on LinkedIn, connecting with other professionals is extremely beneficial and these connections will be helpful throughout your career. One of the best ways to connect with other professionals is through informational interviews.

These interviews allow you to gather information about potential career options, help you design your career path, and learn more about the companies you want to work for. It’s an effective way to introduce yourself to other professionals you admire and connect with those in industries you’re pursuing.

When it comes to setting up and conducting informational interviews, here are 9 things you need to know.

1. Use resources like Glassdoor & LinkedIn to find companies and people you admire.

Tip: Before you start reaching out on LinkedIn, be sure you have your profile optimized and properly set up.

2. Don’t be shy! Draft a "cold email” asking for a brief informational interview based on what you admire about the person or company.

Tip: Hunter is a tool you can use to find email addresses and you can do up to 100 searches a month on the free plan.

3. It's a numbers game. Not everyone will respond, but be persistent. Reach out to individuals at different levels of an organization until you get a response. It never hurts to know more than one person at a company.

4. During the interview, focus your questions on discovering more about their career path. Here are some example questions you can ask.

  • How did you get to where you are now?

  • What do you love most about what you do?

  • What is the biggest opportunity in the industry, job, company, etc.?

  • What advice can you give about finding a career in a similar field?

5. Be brief - keep the interview under 15 minutes. Remember their time is valuable and you don’t want to take advantage of it.

6. End the interview by asking if they know of any other professionals you could reach out to.

Tip: FibberFobber is a great tool to help you keep track of and manage all your networking contacts.

7. Follow up with a thank you note.

8. Stay in touch! You don’t want too much time to pass after the interview without them hearing from you. Send an occasional email to keep in touch, tell them to enjoy their summer or wish them happy holidays.

9. Return the favor. When you land your dream job, always be available for anyone that requests an informational interview from you.

Informational interviews are such a helpful tool, especially if you’re thinking about switching industries. They provide valuable insight into different positions, companies and give you the opportunity to learn from other professionals. I hope today’s tips give you a better understanding of how to secure an informational interview.

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