Informational interviews can help a job hunter make connections and learn about a company. These interviews can also help interviewers to learn about applicants in a non-formal method, no expectations method. So what should job hunters do to arrange for these?
Reach out to industry professionals. You will have the best luck with professionals you already you know or maybe have a network connection with. Use LinkedIn and Glassdoor to learn about companies and those in human resources roles. You can also contact the company’s marketing professional to learn more about the company and ask for an informational interview. Here are the steps:
- Request 20 to 30 minutes of the individual’s time to have a phone conversation or a brief in-person meeting (perhaps over coffee or lunch).
- Find out how the person got started in the industry and what their career path has been up until now and future goals.
- Take notes, but don’t overwhelm the interviewer with questions. Take their business card.
- Keep in mind that this is a casual professional meeting.
- Ask if the person would recommend others who would be beneficial for you to speak with, at the conclusion of your interview.
- Mail a thank you note a few days later to the interviewer; enclose your business or personal card
This is a tool in the job hunter’s toolbox. There are benefits for both the applicant and the company. You will make valuable connections, learn about employers, and advance your job hunt—bring your smile and a firm handshake!
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Jean is a certified senior-level human resources executive/consultant, adjunct professor, management trainer, professional speaker, career coach and author.