Are you interested in learning more about a specific company or career path? Are you a passive candidate curious about what else is out there? An informational interview may be just what you need to gain extra insight. You can learn the benefits of it here.
While the popularity of informational interviews is growing, there are some things you should know before you reach out to schedule one. Get the most out of the experience with our go to tips. Remember, the best time to start exploring other opportunities is when you’re gainfully employed.
The biggest thing you need to remember is to have reasonable expectations. An informational interview is typically an opportunity to learn more about a company or industry as well as networking. You should not be expecting a job offer at the end of it. While the person you're meeting with won't necessarily have a position available for you, you make a connection that can later turn into an opportunity or help you in other ways in your career. By knowing what to expect from an informational interview, you will be able to get the most out of the experience.
During an informational interview you have the opportunity to ask someone, either at a company you're interested in or in an industry you'd like to break into, your pressing questions. Take some time to prepare the questions. These can be anything from questions about their career path, insights into the industry, and etc. Having a list of prepared, well thought out questions can make sure both the person you're meeting with and yourself have a positive and successful experience.
The biggest mistake you can make after an informational interview is forgetting to follow up. While we all know that we should send a thank you note after a regular job interview, the same goes for an informational interview. Not only will this show the person that you appreciate them taking time to meet with you, but it will also help cement the relationship. Stray away from your standard interview thank you template and try to include extra information that may interest them (like an article on something new in your industry).
Informational interviews can be a great tool to help your career. What do you do to prepare for an information interview?