The Art of Informational Interviews - Should You Reach Out for One?
Are you tired of submitting endless resumes and cover letters without any response? Job-hunting can be grueling, but networking can make it easier. One of the best ways to connect with potential employers or learn more about an industry is through informational interviews.
What’s an informational interview?
It’s when you set up a meeting with someone in a field you are interested in to learn about their job, company, or industry. It’s not a job interview, but rather an opportunity for you to ask questions, gain insight, and begin to build relationships. In this blog, we'll go over some of the benefits of an informational interview and why you should consider requesting one.
Gain insider knowledge
One of the biggest benefits of an informational interview is that you get to learn about the company or industry from someone who is already working in it. You can ask questions that aren’t answered on the website or in job descriptions such as what a typical day looks like, what skills are needed to succeed, and what challenges they face. This information can help you determine if this is the right career path for you or give you an edge when applying for jobs in the future.
Informational interviews are not just valuable for the information you receive, but also for establishing contacts in the industry. After the interview, remember to thank the person for their time and ask if they know anyone else who may be willing to speak with you. If you impress the person with your passion and curiosity, they may even refer you to a job opening or offer to introduce you to other professionals in the field.
Stand out from the crowd
Job openings receive hundreds of resumes, which makes it challenging to stand out. An informational interview is a great way to differentiate yourself from other candidates. It shows initiative and interest in the company, which can make a lasting impression. In some instances, the person conducting the informational interview may be impressed by your skills and offer you a job on the spot!
Practice your interviewing skills
Even though it’s not a job interview, an informational interview is an excellent opportunity to practice and hone your interviewing skills. You get to ask questions about the company and industry, which will make you more comfortable with the process when it comes time for actual job interviews. You can also receive feedback from the person on how you presented yourself and what you can improve on.
Unlike a job interview, there’s less pressure during an informational interview. The focus is on learning more about the company and industry instead of impressing the interviewer. This takes the stress out of the process and allows you to be more yourself, which can help you form a deeper connection with the person.
Informational interviews can be a valuable and rewarding experience in your job search. It’s often said that it’s not what you know, but who you know, and informational interviews can help you expand your network and make connections in the industry. Whether you are just starting out or looking to switch careers, informational interviews can provide you with valuable insights and advice from those who have already paved the way. So, what are you waiting for? Start reaching out to professionals in your desired field and request an informational interview today! Who knows, it may lead to your dream job!