What is the Deal with Informational Interviews?

20 Nov


So if you are like me, and knew in the past certain companies you wanted to target to work but knew that you were not yet at a point where you have enough experience to work or they are not hiring. The best thing to do in this situation is to ask for an informational interview with someone from the company in the department you would like to work in.

Information interviews are beneficial for many reasons, here are some tips and advantages:

  • They are a great networking tool, the best thing you can do is when looking for a job is meet as many people as possible! You never know who knows someone who knows someone who has the job you want! Even if the position is unavailable after meeting with someone at the company they could recommend you to their friends, co-workers and any other company they may see as a good fit for you.
  • Do your homework. Treat the informational interview as if it were a real interview for the actual position because you never know what will develop from the meeting.
  • Dress appropriately as you would going to an actual interview, make sure you apparel is in accordance with the company.
  • Take notes, since it is informational soak in everything you can and be sure to bring a pen and jot a few things down to reference in the future.
  • Come prepared with a plethora of questions. Since you already know the purpose of the interview is to find out more about the specific profession make sure you come prepared with lots of questions to make the most of the meeting.

Here are some good example questions to think about or ask from ww.iseek.org

  • What is a day on this job really like?
  • What do you like about your job? Dislike?
  • Is your job typical of others in this field?
  • What’s the corporate culture like here? (Hours, salary, titles)
  • Which firms do you think are your toughest competitors, and how do they differ from your company?
  • How did you get into this field?
  • How do you stay current in your knowledge?
  • What kind of experience or training is required?
  • What are employers looking for? (Skills, education, experience)
  • May I have a copy of a job description?
  • What is the potential for advancement?
  • What are current job prospects like?
  • Are there related fields I might want to look into if few jobs are available in my primary career goal?
  • What’s the best way to find out about jobs in this field?
  • Can you refer me to someone else in this field?

For some extra advice check out these Pet Peeves About the Informational Interview from the NYT Business Section.


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