Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What to Ask at an Informational Interview

You know you should be going on informational interviews--right? These are invitations to coffee or lunch, or even a 30-minute chat in the office of someone you admire, want to emulate, in the kind of company or organization where you eventually might want to work.

You're not asking for a job, but rather finding out how best to prepare yourself for a job. They're a great way to make yourself visible in a "low stakes" setting. That is, you are not trying to get hired immediately, but rather trying to find out what it takes to get hired. 

You're also creating a networking opportunity. The person you invite to such an interview might remember you, and call you a year down the road: "Hey, the perfect job for you just opened up where I work, please apply!" It could happen--but not likely. Rather, you let someone in your field of interest know that you're out there; you can make a connection on LinkedIn; that connection can lead to others... and voila! your name starts to get out there.

So once you've set up an informational interview--now what? You can't very well sit there like a deer in the headlights saying "Tell me stuff." Here is a list of ten questions you can ask to get the most out of your discussion, and leave a positive impression.

Thanks and a tip o' the Twitter hat @kelseyMmanning@levoleague, @YouTern

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