What’s the Point?Gain an understanding of the day to day life of a jobor careerLearn how a person attained their positionWhat’s the person’s view on the future viability ofthat career or fieldMaking contacts and finding more networkingopportunitiesDiscover Problems, Challenges, or Barriers
Can I Have a Job?Not quite yetThe point of the informationalinterview is to gain information…It never hurts to make a goodimpression and illustrate that youcould be an asset They or somebody they know might think of you when they are ready to hire
Making It HappenPursue your own contacts (don’t be afraid ofawkwardness)Google search to find organizations or peoplethat are doing something of interest to youCall or email organizations directlyTalk to your friends or colleaguesLinkedIn?
Introductory EmailIntroduce yourselfExplain what you are currentlydoingGive context for how you foundthe person you are contactingExplain why you’re interested inwhat they do and why you’recontacting themAsk them to meet with you at theirconvenience (time and place)
Dear Ms. Person,My name is Kathy, and I currently work in horsetherapy, but I’m looking to expand my animaltherapy experience. I’ve read about yourorganization in the New York Times, and I’minterested in the idea of school-based elephanttherapy. I would love to find a time to meet andtalk with you about your organization andexperiences in this field. I’m sure you’re verybusy, so please let me know if there’s a time andplace when we could meet to discuss our mutualinterests in this innovative therapeutic approach.
Prepare for the InterviewResearch the person andorganizationCome up with some open-endedquestions to askDress as you would for an interviewFind a time that works best forthem
Do’sAsk thoughtful questions and follow up questions What are the financial prospects of this career? How did you obtain the position you are in now? What is your educational background? What is a typical day at your job?Be humble, Be gratefulWrite a thank you note or email
Don’tsDon’t ask how much money they makeDon’t be nervous and don’t be lateThis is not a time to vent or be hyper criticalRemember this is your chance to learn about them It’s not a job interview, so don’t talk about yourself too much
Time to InteractThink about an experience youhave had prior to AmeriCorpsFind a partnerChoose someone to be theinterviewer and interviewee andconduct an informationalinterview about that person’sexperienceSwitch
Share OutReflectionsHow did it feel to be interviewed? What were some good questions asked, in particular ones that got you talking?Past ExperiencesWhat did you learn?