People often talk about standing out in an interview, but oftentimes, it’s hard enough to even get your foot in the door. People may not always be willing to consider you for a position after the first or second conversation, but more often than not, they are happy to provide advice. Informational interviews allow you to express interest in a role and learn more about the company and team in a way you would not be able to online. This information can be used to draft a very personalized cover letter to the company. For today’s enrole edits here are some tips to help you conduct a successful informational interview.
1. Have a goal for the interview
Do you want to break into that industry? Is your ultimate goal to end up in their company? These goals will help you frame your questions and conversation, and will help you show your drive in your interview.
2. Research them online and come with educated questions.
Research their background and experience on Linkedin and other social media. This will help you ask relevant questions and even break the ice and start conversation. Pro tip: I always try to find a common interest or hobby and start a conversation about it.
3. Start off with an Agenda.
Meeting new people is always Awkward! Start the conversation by outlining exactly what you would like to discuss and your goals for the meeting. This will help break the ice and avoid that awkward pause where neither person knows how to start!
4. Send a follow up email.
Thank them for your time and discuss detailed parts of your conversation that resonated with you. Maybe you applied for the position at that company or followed specific pieces of advice they provided– let them know!
5. Know how you can help them.
Be as involved as possible– be an attendee to their focus groups and showcase genuine interest in what they do. Come prepared with a good idea of your strengths and ways you can give back to the company. You should have a clear idea of how you would like to fit into the company, and should be prepared to articulate that. Remember– sometimes roles are created for certain people!
Hopefully these tips can help you in your next informational interview. Here is a free template that you can personalize for your next informational interview!
Hello interviewer’s name,
My name is your name, a student at school / university, and I am very interested in the work you have done with project | company | field of study. I wanted to reach out because I want to learn more about field. If you are free for a quick 20 minute call, I would love to discuss your career | research | studies | work and learn more about your insights on industry.I am available to hop on a zoom call, talk over the phone, or any other communication at the following times:
list of ranges of times ex: Mondays through Fridays from 2 PM to 9 PM.
I’ll send over a calendar invite if any of these times work for you!
Thank you for taking the time, and I hope to speak to you soon.
email | phone | website