7 Secrets To A Successful Informational Interview

Ask For An Informational Interview

After you’ve identified who you want to meet, ask friends, family, ex-co-workers, and fellow alums if they have contacts at a certain company or a particular line of work.  Utilize social networking tools, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to find contacts. In the

Ask For An Informational Interview

introduction email, keep it short and simple. Provide some background information on yourself and explain why you want to meet.

Clearly Define What You Want To Get Out Of The Meeting

 I’d recommend going for easy wins such as learning more about a company or a job function. So prepare questions such as: “What do you like about working for company X?” or “When you think about successful folks in position Y, what made them successful?”

Getting A Job Should Not Be Your Immediate Goal

Job seekers often ask for a job at the beginning. Resist that temptation. If the manager does have a job, asking for it at the beginning is premature, especially if you haven’t proven yourself.  If he or she does not have a job, you and the manager have to 

Getting A Job Should Not Be Your Immediate Goal

overcome the early letdown. Instead, focus on asking good questions and creating a good impression. Then, at the end, do ask if the manager is hiring, but don’t push it.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

An informational interview can range from an informal career chat to a structured interview. Prepare for any scenario. Have those general career questions ready, and at the same time, don’t be surprised if the interviewer asks tough questions like, “What’s your biggest weakness?”

Dress For Success

It’s always worth reminding: dress professionally.

Go With The Flow

Some managers use the informational interview as an informal job interview. If the manager wants to deviate from your prepared list of questions and ask you more formal interview questions, let him or her do so. Who knows? You might get a job offer at the end of the interview.

Don’t Forget To Follow Up And Send The Thank-You Note

Don’t forget to send a thank-you email or note after the informational interview. In addition, send updates every couple of weeks.  The manager invested time into your career; he or she will be interested in your progress. And who knows, that manager may not

Don’t Forget To Follow Up And Send The Thank-You Note

have had openings a while ago, but he or she may be hiring now.



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