Top Tips for Informational Interviewing
Have your heard of informational interviewing but don’t know where to start. I am here today to break it down for you.
The benefit of informational interviewing are not only that you get to explore different career paths but it will also allow you to explore an organization’s culture without being in a formal interview process and it’s a great way to network in case you do decide to apply to a job there one day. Someone is more likely to respond cold for a request to do an informational interview than a cold outreach about a job application. I have so many friends who have worked at some of the big shiny companies and they dreaded getting asked to refer people in if they didn’t really know them.
So if you are ready to explore some career paths do these things:
1) Make a list of 10 job titles and/or companies you are interested in
2) If you don’t have current connections in these areas, reach out to people on LinkedIn. If you have to send an invite to connect, include in your invite that you want to do an informational interview and they are more likely to accept.
3) Before the interview, make a list of things that are important to you in a job so you have these top of mind as you interview
a. Do you want to work remote full-time? Find out how that is perceived?
b. Burnt out and overworked? Is that something you don’t want in your next job?
c. Is senior leadership really important to you?
d. Whatever the criteria that is most important to you that you know is impacting your
current job satisfaction.
4) Conduct a 20 minute informational interview- people are busy so be respectful and stick to the time. If you are getting close to the time, many people will allow a few more minutes for extra questions. Not sure of what questions to ask here are a few that I really like
a. What is a typical day-to-day?
b. How many hours in a week do you work?
c. What do you wish you knew before taking this job?
d. What skills/trainings is necessary to be successful in this job
Tip: Don’t ask about salary. You can do research on websites like Glassdoor or look get into that with HR if you decide to apply for a role down the road
I know reaching out to random people can be scary but trust that the right people will be willing to connect. If they know it’s just to talk about their job and you aren’t going to ask for a referral, they are much more likely to connect. Not everybody will respond and that is ok.
I challenge you today to take one of these actions and report back to me on how you did.
Feel free to reach out to me at Jackie@redefineyourpathcoaching.com, if you still have questions.