The best way to network is to reach out to professionals in your field and ask for an informational interview. This can be a valuable way to learn more about your chosen profession and to get your foot in the door with a company you’re interested in, but it can also be intimidating! This article will give you some tips on how to conduct an interview so that you can feel confident and well prepared.
What is an informational interview?
It is a brief meeting between two people, usually conducted in person, in which one person (the interviewer) seeks to learn information from the other (the interviewee). The interviewer typically asks the interviewee questions about their work, their career path, and their industry in order to gain insights and advice.
The interview can be an incredibly valuable tool for career exploration and networking. It can help you learn more about a particular field or company, and it can also give you the opportunity to meet and connect with someone who may be able to help you further your career.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind for the meeting. First, it’s important to choose someone who you think would be a valuable source of information. Try to pick someone who is currently working in the field or industry that you’re interested in, and who you think would be willing and able to share their insights with you.
Once you’ve chosen someone to interview, reach out and request a meeting. Be sure to explain what you’re hoping to accomplish with the meeting, and be respectful of the person’s time. Most people are happy to chat for a few minutes if they know what it’s for, but you don’t want to take up too much of their time without good reason.
Be sure to come to the meeting prepared with questions. This will help keep the conversation focused and make sure you get the most out of the meeting. And finally, don’t forget to follow up after the meeting! Be sure to thank the person for their time, and if your interviewee gave you any particularly helpful advice or insights, be sure to let them know how you plan to use that information.
Why conduct an interview?
Informational Interviews are an effective way to gain insights into a particular career or industry, and can help you make informed decisions about your own career path. Conducting your interview can also help you build your professional network, and may even lead to job opportunities down the road.
How to prepare for the meeting
An interview is a productive way to gain some valuable insights into a certain career path or company.. However, it’s important to go into the interview prepared with the pertinent questions to get the most out of it.
Here are a few tips on how to prepare for the meeting:
1. Do your research: Before meeting with your interviewee, be sure to do your research on both the person and the company they work for. This way, you can be prepare with specific and relevant questions to ask.
2. Make a list of questions: Once you’ve done your research, make a list of questions that you want to ask during the interview. This will help keep you focused and on track during the conversation.
3. Be respectful of their time: An informational interview is not a job interview, but it’s still important to be considerate of your interviewee’s time that you’re meeting with. Keep your questions focused and to the point, and try not to monopolize the conversation.
Questions to ask during an informational interview
When conducting an informational interview, it is important to ask questions that will elicit useful information about the person’s career and experiences. Here are some examples of good questions:
- What led you to your current career?
- What are the biggest challenges you face in your job?
- What kind of skills and knowledge are necessary for success in your field?
- What are the most important trends affecting your industry right now?
- What are the biggest obstacles you see impeding the growth of your industry?
- What do you see as the biggest challenges facing your company in the next few years?
- What do you believe is the key to success in your field?
How to follow up after an informational interview?
After you’ve had an informational interview with someone, it’s important to send a thank you note or email. This shows your appreciation for their time, and also keeps you fresh in their mind in case they have any job leads for you in the future. Plus, it’s just good manners!
When you’re writing your thank you note, keep it brief and to the point. Thank them for their time. Mention something specific that you enjoyed about the conversation, and let them know you’re looking forward to keeping in touch. Then, be sure to actually keep in touch! Connect with them on social media, send them an email every now and then, or even better – invite them out for coffee. Staying in touch with your interviewee is a great way to build your professional network.
If you’re looking to learn more about a certain career field or company, informational interviews can be a powerful way to get insights from professionals who are already working in the industry. By asking thoughtful questions and being prepared ahead of time, you can use your meeting as an opportunity to gain valuable information and make professional connections.