Conduct informational interviews
How to conduct informational interviews?
An informational interview can be a powerful tool in your career building strategy. Job seekers or students can set up a meeting to ask questions to someone who is already working in the field that they want to enter.
Keep in mind that this type of interview is not to find job openings, but rather an excellent way to explore different career paths to see if they might be a good fit for you. Career changers and recent graduates may find them especially helpful as they are fantastic for discovering tips on how to get started in a particular career or mistakes to avoid.
The informational interview process:
1) Find people to Interview
At first, it may seem embarrassing reaching out to people that you don’t know. We would recommend starting out with any contacts you may already have in the business. A friend of a friend or relatives might be the right place to start. If not, think about which kind of companies you would like to work in and start from there.
2) Reach out
Your first contact is very important. Although it might feel a little awkward to contact a stranger, most people will be flattered. Explain why you are contacting them. It is a good idea to mention why you want to reach out them in particular (take some clues from their LinkedIn!) Remember and make it very clear that you are not fishing for a job.
3) Think carefully about what types of questions you might want to ask
Questions should be open-ended and remember: it’s not about you, it’s about them. If they try to turn the conversation towards you, don’t shut them down, have your elevator pitch prepared, but try to keep the focus on them.
4) Follow up
If you have clicked especially well with someone or have found them particularly useful, don’t forget to follow up! Contacts are vital. Write to thank them and if they don’t mind add them to your LinkedIn. You never know when a particular connection might come in useful.