Informational Interviewing Part II
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Informational Interviewing Part II

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This follow-up slide show (see also: Part I) provides additional "how-to\’s" for effective informational interviews for job seekers and those looking to advance in their career.

This follow-up slide show (see also: Part I) provides additional "how-to\’s" for effective informational interviews for job seekers and those looking to advance in their career.

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  • 1. Lisa Mauri Thomas, M.S. All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 2.
    • An interview designed to collect valuable and immediately useable information about a job, career field, industry or company.
    • An informational interview is NOT a job interview.
    • Rather, it's an interview YOU CONDUCT with an individual working in a career of which you would like to learn more about.
    • Source: About.com; http://jobsearch.about.com/od/infointerviews/g/infointerview.htm , retrieved Aug 2, 2010
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 3.
    • To go beyond generally available, printed information and gain specific, first-hand perspective about:
      • Nature of the work in a particular environment
      • Career pathway of an influential professional
      • Insight, advice, and career navigation tips
      • Referrals: identify others to speak to further
      • This is a WEEKLY NETWORKING activity!
    • Source: About.com; http://jobsearch.about.com/od/infointerviews/g/infointerview.htm , retrieved Aug 2, 2010
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 4.
    • Find People to Talk To:
    • Professional Networking Groups
    • Linked In: People Search, Groups
    • Professional Organizations
    • HR Professionals & Hiring Managers
    • Recruiters
    • Authors of Specific Career Path Books
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 5.
    • Create a brief outreach message:
    • Dear Contact,
    • I was referred to you by (first & last name) from XYZ company. She recommended you as an excellent source of information within the healthcare industry. (specify further as needed)
    • (You might also indicate you found their Linked In profile and was intrigued to learn more about them and their career journey or area of expertise).
    • My goal is to secure a mid-level Quality Assurance position within a hospital setting. I would appreciate hearing your advice on career opportunities in this area, on determining current and critical industry keywords and qualifications, and on how best to navigate the current healthcare hiring landscape.
    • Thanks so much, in advance, for any insight and advice you would be willing to share. I look forward to contacting you early next week to set up a brief telephone informational interview.
    • Thank you for your consideration.
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 6.
    • Alternative outreach message:
    • Dear Contact,
    • As a ____________ professional in the Minneapolis area, I am always looking to establish new connections to expand and strengthen my network of professional peers and with those in upper management.
    • My goal is to advance within __________ in a _________ setting. I would appreciate hearing your advice on how the industry is trending, determining current and critical industry keywords and qualifications, and how best to navigate the current __________ landscape.
    • Thank you so much, in advance, for any insight and advice you would be willing to share. I look forward to contacting you early next week to set up a brief informational interview. Please let me know if you prefer to chat in person, by phone, or via e-mail – whichever is most convenient for you.
    • Have a wonderful day.
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 7.
    • Once you have initiated contact AND received a favorable response, move into the Q&A phase.
    • Determine if they prefer to meet in person, chat by phone, or handle by email, etc.
    • Have your best 6-12 prepared questions ready - pull these questions from the 20 or so from your pre-determined “question bank”
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 8.
    • Are your questions OPEN or CLOSED?
    • Closed questions require a simple yes or no answer and once answered the dialogue can end abruptly, i.e. “are there”, “do you”, etc.
    • Open questions keeps the dialogue moving forward and focuses on “who, what, why, where, when and how” items.
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 9.
    • Second quality check:
    • Don’t:
    • Ask for a job or say you need one soon
    • Complain about lack of success so far
    • Indicate you’ve encountered age or gender discrimination
    • Vent negatively about being laid off
    • Discuss your salary requirements
    • Fail to follow-up/send a thank you note
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 10.
    • Remain positive, curious, and open to new ideas and constructive criticism.
    • GOAL:
    • Start and maintain an effective, professional dialogue that leads to new contacts, mentors, and other people of influence within the hiring process.
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 11.
    • Gain perspective and insight
    • Strengthen your decision
    • Determine a specific niche-area
    • Choose a different path altogether
    • Make professional contacts among management-level personnel
    • Gain confidence
    • Improve your presentation skills
    • Improve your professional visibility
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 12.
    • Present your career focus of interest, including job titles, level or rank, and preferred environments in 1-2 sentences or within 20-30 seconds
    • Practice using your 15-20 item “question bank” that hones in on “need-to-know” information with a partner & timekeeper
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 13.
    • Get into groups of 3
    • If you missed Part I, your role is Timekeeper – so only 1 new person per group, if at all possible.
    • One person will interview the other with Timekeeper observing. Then switch interviewers.
    • Trade phone numbers and e-mail addresses to continue practicing together later this week.
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 14.
    • Timekeeper/Observer will evaluate:
    • How long interviewer (the person asking questions) was able to keep up the energy, enthusiasm, and momentum of the interview – strive for a solid 8-10 minutes
    • If and when the interview loses steam, the Timekeeper/Observer can say “quit” and report number of minutes accomplished.
    • De-brief among all 3 in group to determine what went well and what could be improved.
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 15.
    • What to watch for with each interviewer :
      • Ease and speed of opening lines, setting the context
      • Pace of the questions, energy level, momentum
      • Comfort level of the interviewer – relaxed, natural?
      • At what point did the mood, tone, or energy change?
      • Which part was easiest: Beginning? Middle? End?
      • Which part was hardest: Beginning? Middle? End?
      • Did they control the session or were they controlled?
      • Did they ask any closed or inappropriate questions?
      • Did they seem prepared, ready, and poised?
      • Did they establish “next steps” and/or get a referral?
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 16.
      • ◊ Network with each other
      • ◊ Continue to practice
      • ◊ Locate 25 prospective allies
      • ◊ Set up 10+ real info interviews
      • ◊ Track your contacts and results
      • ◊ Follow up as advised
      • ◊ Share your results
    All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM
  • 17. All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Change Your Job, Change Your Life TM