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Informational interviews....has anyone tried them?

Discussion in 'Jobs' started by Plaikate, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Plaikate

    Plaikate TRIBE Member

    Hi All,

    I was wondering if anyone here has tried out informational interviews and has had their career path enhanced as a result?
  2. dstarr

    dstarr TRIBE Member

    Yes, I have done lots of informational interviews and have benefited from them.

    The thing is that you have to do your research. I can't stress this enough. Make sure you know who you are talking to and why. You need to be familiar with the person and what they do for a living. Have questions ready and be ready for them to ask you how they can help you. Don't be like "get me a job" but ask them to help you connect with more people... so "Do you know anyone that does X, Y or Z?". Be specific when it comes to what you're looking for.

    Here's something I sometimes do that makes me look organized and on the ball... once we agree to meet, I send them a confirmation email with place and time and my cell# in case of issues and then some info about me... my blog, twitter and resume. You could always use outlook or some calendar function to send them a meeting request that goes on their calendar...

    The day of, send another email to confirm if they still have time as again, people are busy. Makes you look considerate as well as professional.

    You also need to make sure the person knows something about you... send them your resume, LinkedIn profile, blog or anything else you feel will help them get a sense of who you are. They may not read it in advance but at least you are showing them that you've got your head in the game. Maybe just send one or two things that are relevant as people are busy but you get my point here.

    Honestly, you need to treat these like job interviews in the sense that you need to be punctual, be on time, look good.. etc.

    Job search is like a sales funnel.. you need to keep lots of contacts going.. read somewhere that it may take upwards of 100 contacts before a job comes your way so use informational interviews to get yourself and the fact that you're looking for something specific out there.

    However when you're looking for work, you need to ABC ... Always Be Connecting as you never know when your luck will change. I once got a job after going for beers with a bunch of people. Somebody asked me about a job, I said I was looking for something specific and bam, her husband was leaving that exact job... three weeks later, I'm in.

    Do some searching online and you can also get good advice.
  3. Plaikate

    Plaikate TRIBE Member

    Thanks dstarr for your insights, I appreciate it.

    I have read a lot about informational interviews as being a good starting point for creating a professional network in theory, but have never heard any direct results from utilizing them.

    I am currently in the process of exploring different industries that could potentially develop into possible careers with my current corporate background while I am still employed full time.

    Your method sounds very professional and effective. I will definitely give it a try.

    Thanks again :)
  4. mandapanda

    mandapanda TRIBE Member

    a friend of mine got her cushy government job from doing informational interviews. unfortunately, that's all i have to offer on the subject!

    i've been thinking of giving it a try myself...
  5. saskboy

    saskboy TRIBE Member

    What Colour is Your Parachute?

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