Informational Interviews by Gary Edwards

Have you been going to the same employment sites and finding the same jobs copied on multiple sites?

Try an informational interview!

• Can establish a relationship with decision makers
• Manager will give you job referrals that are unique
• Opportunity not posted yet or coming soon
• Refer you to another company that has or will have a unique opportunity
• Manager will provide excellent advice about your resume

What is information interviewing?
Informational interviewing is an overlooked process. In an informational interview, you are seeking leads/ job opportunities, information regarding an industry, career path or employer by talking to people you know or who have been referred to you. But wait… before you begin informational interviewing, you must prepare!

Information / Research
Which position, company or industry you want to learn about will depend on what you want to do with your life. Google perspective companies in the industry you desire. Go to the website, ‘My Skills My Future’. After inputting the career you want, narrow your search to the to the geographic area you are interest in. The resulting list will note positions and companies that are available regularly. Also included is the compensation provided and training required. A real nice feature on this site is a list of companies, phone numbers and even managers names to start calling on!

Appointment
Set up a 10 to 15 minute interview with a company/ manager noted on your list. Many times it is hard to get past the ‘gatekeeper’ and get to the manager you need to talk with to help you. Just keep on trying. Don’t get discouraged. The results are rewarding.

At your meeting pay a compliment such as:
• “I hear you are the expert in this industry”
• “What would you do? As you know I am interested in this career path”
• “What changes to my resume or career path would you recommend?”
• “What positions do you see coming up in the near future? If you don’t have any opportunities with this company, who can you refer to me that may be hiring?”

Dress and act the role of the position you are seeking. Investigate, investigate, and investigate about the company before the interview so you can ask informed questions.

30 Second Commercial
If you were stuck in an elevator and had the opportunity to talk to an HR director, what would you say about your experience, skills, strengths, accomplishments and goals – all in 30 seconds? That is the “30 second commercial”.

Document Names
•Ask for business cards and other contacts in the field.
•Send Thank-You and Follow-Up Letters
•Thank the person at the conclusion of the interview, and immediately state your appreciation for the time given.

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