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Three Tips To Conduct Effective Informational Interviews


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A critical strategy in your job search. The informational interview is a critical piece to your job search, but too few
people actually know its purpose or protocol. Follow these three tips to conduct effective informational interviews

Published in: Career, Business
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Three Tips To Conduct Effective Informational Interviews

  2. 2. T H E I N F O R M A T I O N A L I N T E R V I E W - W H A T I S I T ? ©2002-2013 The informational interview is a critical piece to your job search, but too few people actually know its purpose or protocol. Informational interviews unfortunately are very underutilized. College graduates use them more frequently because their career centers encourage it. Only 50 percent of our career coaching clients know what an informational interview is when we first suggest it to them. It's time to change that!
  3. 3. W H A T Y O U N E E D T O K N O W ©2002-2013 There are several things you need to know to correctly use these kinds of interviews as a tool in your job search. For example:  How do you set them up?  Whom should you interview?  What questions should you ask?  What should you wear?  How should you follow up or continue to stay in touch with the person you’ve interviewed?
  4. 4. A O N E - O N - O N E C O N V E R S A T I O N First, an informational interview is a one-on-one conversation, either in person, over the phone, or via Skype with someone who works in an industry or at a company you would like to work at/in (or are considering as a career possibility).  That person may have a job you’re interested in learning more about, or simply work within an industry you're considering as a long term career option.  They could also be someone who is employed by a company that you're interested in learning more about and possibly working for. ©2002-2013
  5. 5. T H R E E T I P S T O K E E P I N M I N D Informational interviews are a great way to decide on your career path, determine your next career moves, focus your aspirations, or figure out if a company / role would be a good fit for you. They are a way to learn more about what a day is like in that job or industry. You can gain an inside perspective before you dive in and start applying for jobs. For job seekers it’s also a great tool to network your way into an organization and, informational interviews are a perfect way to practice your interview skills without conducting a formal job interview as well. Here are a three basic tips to keep in mind… ©2002-2013
  6. 6. # 1 – P E O P L E Y O U K N O W Start with people you know: Start by reaching out to people within your inner circle, personally and professionally. Friends, family members, and LinkedIn connections are great places to start to identify possible candidates for an interview. Contact a suggested person and try to arrange a meeting; whether it’s face to face, over the phone or via Skype. Email is an option, but the least desirable one so try to arrange at least a phone meeting, but - go with what works best for them. It’s their time, be mindful of it. ©2002-2013
  7. 7. # 2 – B E S P E C I F I C Be specific in your request: When asking for their time, be concise and clear about your motivation and intentions. Let them know you are looking for information, not a job! Give them specific questions you would like to have answered during the call. Keep your expectations reasonable; consider asking them for just 10 to 15 minutes of their time to answer five or six questions. Send your questions in advance, so that the interviewer knows you’re prepared and can think about your questions in advance. They may give you more time than just the 15 minutes, which is great. Most people will, just don’t expect or demand more than that. ©2002-2013
  8. 8. # 3 – F O L L O W U P Follow up: Keep in mind that how you follow up is just as important as how you behaved in the interview itself. You should always follow up, regardless of whether you feel the job they spoke to you about is a fit for you or not. If you don’t check back at least once, you’ve missed an opportunity to develop a relationship with someone that could be very valuable and useful to you down the line. You don’t have to keep them abreast of every aspect of your job search, but a thank you and a mention of any contact that you had with people they referred you to is critical. ©2002-2013
  9. 9. D E V E L O P A N E T W O R K O F C O N N E C T I O N S The bottom line is, if you treat people professionally, with respect, care and an interest in helping them as well, you will have developed a connection that could help you down the line. You never know what can come of these interviews, so handle each one well. You’ll realize you’ve developed a network of connections that can help you with your job search and your professional development along the way! ©2002-2013
  10. 10. A B O U T C R E AT E Y O U R C A R E E R PAT H Create Your Career Path was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Crawford has served on the Board of the Georgia Coach Association, and is regularly featured as a career expert on CNN, Fox Business News, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo HotJobs, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Create Your Career Path is a boutique career coaching firm known for their personal attention, commitment to clients and a blend of dreaming and being practical in achieving career goals. Since 2002, they’ve helped hundreds of clients all over the world find and succeed in their dream job. Each of their coaches are certified coaches with specific career coaching experience and training. They cater to professional men and women, management level and higher, in mid-career transition. Their success rate is 97%, measured by the number of people who have gotten what they wanted out of coaching. The coaches use a specific tried and tested process and tools developed by Hallie Crawford over the years. Contact us for a complimentary consultation: ©2002-2013