Designing Your Career: The Informational Interview

An informational interview is an amazingly powerful tool. It can help you learn about different types of work you’re interested in. And by providing an inside perspective,
it may even connect you to opportunities
you couldn’t see from the outside. So let’s take a look a what informational
interviewing is all about. An informational
interview is not a job interview, and it’s not a trick
you play to get a job. If you’re asking for a job and they do have one,
then they’ll likely start judging
whether you’re a good fit. And if they don’t have one, then
that conversation ends there. The key to a successful
informational interview is curiosity. With sincere curiosity and good
questions about about your
interviewee’s life and experience, you gain insights
into their successes and failures, how
they got where they are, and what’s
important to them. Your curiosity will lead to an authentically
engaged conversation, which also opens
the door for the interviewee to get curious about you. The professional you’re speaking with might say something like “wow, you’re asking
some really good questions. And in that transition,
informational interviewing becomes
even more valuable for someone looking for work. Informational
interviews give you an opportunity to
see what kinds of work resonate with
you, and help you determine what communities you
would like to be a part of. In a good informational
interview, the professional you speak
with gets a lot out of the conversation, too:
they get to discuss their life and their work with someone who’s curious about
their experience and values their expertise. Plus they get the
pleasure of talking with someone who’s
genuinely interested in what they do. How do you do it well? Here are five tips to get you started. First, do your
homework – take some time to research
LinkedIn or other online platforms
to learn about the professional you’re
interviewing. Consider what questions
you have about their life and work. The second tip is
to try to meet in person! On the phone is ok, but face to face is best. Three: Always try to buy the coffee or lunch – your interviewee
is giving you their time. Paying is a good way of showing your appreciation
and beginning to create a connection. Four: Ask your interviewee who else they recommend you talk with. If the interview has gone
well, they may be willing to
connect you to other professionals you
could learn from – and who might have
opportunities for you. Finally, tip number five: after the interview, send a thank you. Email is ok, but a hand-written
note is even better. And if they asked
you to keep them posted on your progress, do so!

One comment

  • Benjamin Easter

    This video is very well animated and very helpful, thank you!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *