Informational interviews are critical to a successful job search. Many job seekers don’t do them at all which puts them at a significant disadvantage in the search and others do not do them well so they miss a valuable opportunity to differentiate themselves. Informational interviewing is the goal of most networking connections.
Why do an informational interview?
- Learn about the company, the culture, current issues, career paths, specific roles, etc. from an insider, gain insights you may not be able to find online
- Build an advocate within the company for future support
What can you gain from an informational interview?
- Learn about the contact’s industry, company and/or work environment and culture
- Gain insight into specific jobs, roles, functions and departments
- Hear advice on how you can translate your skills and experience to new industry, company or role
- Obtain names of other recommended networking contacts
- Recommendations for professional associations you should join
- Gain insight into your career options
- An inside contact within the organization
What an informational interview is not
- It is not asking for a job or applying for a specific position, instead it is an information gathering adventure and hopefully the start of a mutually beneficial relationship