Definition and purpose
Twelve good reasons to conduct an informational interview
Who should you interview?
The telephone call
How do you place a call to a contact person?
How to be successful in your telephone communications?
How to get past the hurdles?
Conducting the informational interview
The questions you should ask
Information on the industry
Information on the company
Information on the position/occupation you are interested in and the profile of the ideal candidate for this position
Information on job opportunities and career plans
An informational interview is a networking strategy used to:
More specifically, an informational interview is a 15 to 45 minute meeting with a professional from an industry or sector you are interested in. Ideally, this meeting takes place in person. Nevertheless, if the targeted person is not available to meet with you in person, the interview can also take place by telephone or by email exchange.
To obtain and plan an informational interview with the person of your choice, you must first contact the person either by telephone or by email (or a combination of both). It is therefore paramount to use this communication tool effectively to increase your chances of success. Remember, if you babble during your phone conversation, the contact stops there!
Once you are connected with the targeted person, start at the beginning:
2. What to do if you get the voice mail?
The key to a successful, effective and relevant informational interview is preparation. Take the time you need before you start the process. After each meeting, also take the time to reflect on the information you have gathered. What did you learn that can be useful? What impact has this interview had on your thought process? Has your opinion of the targeted subject changed?
Furthermore, it is as important to develop your network of contacts, as it is to maintain and take care of it! Try and stay in touch on a regular basis with the people you have met. The purpose is for them not to forget you. Keep them in the loop and remember to ask about them also. Let them know of any development in your professional situation, share articles on current issues or information on a subject you have talked about. In short, always remember that networking is first and foremost an exchange process and that any contact must be based on a give-and-take relationship.