Clarity for Aspirational Women in Business & Life Transitions.

Informational Interviews: 8 Points to Success

07.23.09

Career

informal business meeting

An informational interview is an opportunity to start a conversation with someone who works at a company that you’re interested in, or someone on your desired career path.  It is very much a networking tool, perhaps the ultimate networking tool.

As you prepare for an informational interview, remember that you are not entering this as a job candidate; you are seeking to establish a connection with the company and learn more about your desired position.  The information you retrieve is priceless and can easily be converted into a successful campaign to later showcase your talents for future employment.

Below are 8 points for a successful informational interview:

1.      Choose a company you really like.

2.      Interview the direct supervisor of the position you would like to have or the position holder themselves.  Yes, I said interview them.  Ask specific questions about the company’s products or services, culture, and most importantly, get information on their current needs or goals.

3.      Your objective is to leave a genuine impression of interest in the company and their needs.  This is not about you.

4.      Don’t ask for a job!  This is not about you.

5.      Make the meeting about them, not you.  Well, you get the picture.

6.      Always leave your business card with them, but do not give them your resume unless they ask for it.  Don’t hard sell.

7.      The main point of the interview is for you to develop contacts and leave them with a good first impression.  If or when a position is available that matches your qualifications, you will be at the top of their mind.

8.      Follow up!  Thank them for their time and compile a synopsis of their current needs and goals.  In your signature include a link to your online resume or LinkedIn profile.  Go for the soft sell approach.  If you genuinely like the people you met with, continue to keep in contact with them throughout the year, as they may get promoted, change companies, or go into business for themselves.  You never know from where your next opportunity will come.

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One response to “Informational Interviews: 8 Points to Success”

  1. Wow that is an very crazy article . I like your blog. Maybe you should write more articles of these type.

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