What is an Informational Interview?
As a job seeker an informational interview can provide you with extremely valuable information. Here are the basics of what an informational interview is and how it can help you with your career.
What Is an Informational Interview?
An informational interview is when an individual seeks to interview with a company without the pretext of trying to acquire employment. During this type of interview, the roles will be reversed. Instead of an employer interviewing you, you will be asking questions to the employer. This technique is used to gain valuable insight into a particular industry.
Same Rules Apply
Although this is a different type of interview, the same rules that apply to a traditional interview still apply. You should still dress professionally, still arrive early to the appointment, and do your best to make a good impression. You should conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times during this process.
Many people that go through the informational interview process notice how relaxed it is compared to a traditional interview. Without the pressure of a potential job looming over the interview, both parties can relax a bit. The employer does not have to worry about impressing job candidates during the process. Job seekers do not have to worry about whether or not they answered every question perfectly. With this process, you can have a much more intimate conversation with someone at the company. You will be able to gain valuable insights into how this particular company and the industry as a whole operate. Many people enjoy informational interviews because of the relaxed atmosphere and the lack of expectations from both parties.
Plan Your Meeting
Before you ever enter the building for the interview, you should plan out what will take place. Since this interview was your idea, you need to plan out everything about it. Write down some questions that you would like to ask the other person. Do some research on the company that you will be interviewing with before showing up. By familiarizing yourself with the company, you can avoid wasting the time of the company representative. Instead of using your valuable time in the interview to gain basic information, you can get straight to the most important parts.
One of the main benefits of an informational interview is the ability to network in the industry that you want to get into. If you make a good impression during your interview, the person on the other side of the desk will be likely to give you some names of people to talk to. They might know of a job opening in another department or another company. Many people that work in the same industry are friendly with one another and this good be your ticket into the industry. Even if you do not get a job right away, by making a good impression you might be the first person that they call whenever an opening becomes available.