Informational Interviews: Low Risk & Low Pressure
By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Using informational interviews as part of your job search is a very low-risk activity. However, if you want to make the most of it, you should prepare to excel. Do your homework and prepare questions that are relevant to the interviewer’s position, and familiarize yourself with emerging trends. Then, you’ll feel comfortable interviewing them about their professional development.
Using informational interviews is an excellent way to get the insider’s scoop on a career, industry or company PLUS it will it allow you to make valuable connections and boost your confidence. It’s a low-risk and effective method of networking and career planning. It’s also a low-risk way to learn more about a particular profession, and it can change the direction of your career.
An informational interview is also a low-pressure meeting with a potential employer or industry expert. Its purpose is to network, connect and gain insights. It is an effective networking technique, and statistics have shown that one in every 12 informational interviews results in a job offer. Be aware of your own limitations and expectations when conducting informational interviews. Nevertheless, prepare well and make sure to ask plenty of questions.
A person can arrange an informational interview with a professional by asking people they know for introductions or referrals as well searching LinkedIn for a professional and calling or messaging them. This might require a little persistence, but it will help you network with more people. An informational interview is a low-pressure meeting, but it can still be useful if you want to expand your network and stay in touch with people you may encounter later.
The benefits of informational interviews are many. They can be very helpful in navigating the job market. For students and young professionals, the benefits are obvious. First, they can explore a variety of career paths with people who are doing the work they are interested in doing. Second, they’re low-risk and non-intrusive. They don’t ask for a job, but instead offer to help you with information, treating you with respect. Most people are happy to share their experience and support an engaged youth.
If you’re nervous about conducting an informational interview, don’t worry! Follow up with the contact. Be sure to set a deadline for the interview, so that the person can plan accordingly. Follow-up is critical for a successful informational interview. Once you’ve got the contact, you’ll be well on your way to the career you’ve always wanted. Just remember that there’s no point in doing informational interviews if you don’t have a resume.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2022
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2300 episodes.
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