woman being interviewed

Networking events are a great way to make connections and meet more industry professionals. If you are seeking out a specific individual, why not ask them for an informational interview? The informational interview is a great way to network one-on-one. The goal with one of these meetings, shouldn’t be a job offer. This type of interview is purely informational, giving insight into the industry, company, and career. It is an opportunity to ask for advice and any relative questions you may have in your job search. In this blog, we have highlighted some of the right and wrongs when asking someone for an informational interview.

Choosing the Right Person

When seeking out someone to interview, the size of the company and the person’s role is important. Though this may be your dream company, the person you’re interviewing, shouldn’t be just anyone. They should typically be someone with a position of interest. Linkedin is a great resource for finding employees at a company. Either reach out on the platform or track down an email for direct contact.

When it comes to asking for the interview, be clear in your objective. Let them know that you are in the process of learning what types of positions are best for you. Saying something along the lines of, “I would love to grab a coffee sometime and hear about how you started in your career and how you enjoy the position and company that you are in now.” If you admire this person greatly, let them know. The more personalized the message is, the more enticed they will be to sit down with you. NEVER make it sound like you are looking to get hired (even if you are)!

Before and After the Interview

If they accepted your offer, make sure to go to the interview prepared with questions and already immersed with some background knowledge of the person and company. After the interview, send a personalized thank you; thanking them for their time and useful information. Highlighting this information will really show them how much you took from their time they gave to you.

On the other hand, don’t feel discouraged if you are declined or don’t hear back! A follow-up is ok; people are busy and sometimes things slip from our minds. Sending a quick reminder may get them to respond. If there is still silence, don’t take it personally and seek out someone else you would be interested in speaking to. There is a wide pool of people in the job market with useful information to provide!

Informational Interviews are a great way to learn if a career change, position, career path, company, etc…is right for you! Networking is at our fingertips and we have access to so many people to meet. Get out there and get learning!