The Skinny on Informational Interviews

Posted by on March 14, 2012

Informational interviews are often an underutilized tool when it comes to career searching. One possible reason as to why this is could be that not many people know what an informational interview really is and how job seekers can benefit from it.

What is an informational interview?

An informational interview can be described as finding someone who has the job you want or works for a company that you are interested in and gathering information about their experience. The point is not to get a job lead, but rather to gain some insight into a certain industry or company. Some questions that you might want to ask in the interview are: How did you get into this line of work? What do you like most about your job? What challenges does someone in your position typically face? Do you have any advice for someone who is new to the field?

Remember to keep your informational interview short; about twenty minutes. Make sure that you thank the interviewer for their time and send a thank you afterwards.

How can job seekers benefit from informational interviews?

Informational interviews allow job seekers to “try on” a job before going to an interview. This also gives job seekers a huge advantage in the interviewing phase. Employers are impressed when they hear that you took the initiative to learn more about the industry, the position, or the company by going on informational interviews. The information gathered also allows job seekers to get tips for their resume, cover letter, and responses to tough interview questions.

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