Conducting an informational interview is one of the best ways to learn about a specific job, career path, company and/or industry.
An informational interview gives you the opportunity to learn about a job/company from a person who has first-hand experience within your field of interest. This type of interview process is valuable because you are able to get a “behind the scenes” in-depth look into what a job/company is like through an unfiltered lens.
Who Is It For?
If you are someone who is trying to decide: 1. what your career path should be, 2. whether you want to work at a particular company or 3. whether you want to work within a particular industry, you should definitely reach out to your professional network and start the process of conducting informational interviews.
Setting up an Informational Interview
To set up an informational interview, you will need to be proactive and reach out to members within your professional network. A great place to meet with local professionals and grow your networking circle is by attending networking events. People are oftentimes quite willing to set aside a few minutes in their day to talk about their job/company with someone who is interested in their field of work. A simple email or message via LinkedIn is often a great way to get the ball rolling so that you can schedule a time and place that works for the both of you. Since informational interviews are meant to be informal, a coffee shop would be a great idea for a meeting place!
What to Expect
Once you have your meeting confirmed, make sure to properly prepare yourself. Remember, you will be in the driver’s seat and will be expected to steer the course of the discussion. Be ready to give a short introduction about yourself and what you hope to gain from the meeting. Also, ASK MANY QUESTIONS! The whole point of conducting an informational interview is to learn about a given job/company/industry. Therefore, you need to by engaged and curious throughout the discussion. This is your opportunity to figure out whether a particular career path that you are considering is really a good fit for you. The more educated you are on a particular career path/job/company, the more likely you are to find a job position that you will be passionate about and successful in.