If you have followed our blogs for some time, you know that we often offer tips and tricks in regard to job interviews. Today, we want to discuss an interview you may be less familiar with, but one we think can benefit job seekers. Let’s discuss in detail what an informational interview entails, and why you may want to consider setting one up for yourself.
What is an informational interview?
We are all familiar with job interviews. These take place after you have gone through the job application process and have been formally invited by the employer to come in for a scheduled interview with the hope of securing the position. An informational interview, on the other hand, is a meeting between the job seeker and a professional in a desired field or industry. The objective with an informational interview is to seek advice, gather information and insights, and network rather than securing the job.
During an informational interview, the job seeker is given the opportunity to ask questions of a professional of their choosing to gain valuable knowledge about the industry, workplace, or career path in consideration. Typically, the person being interviewed is an experienced professional, who can offer their expertise and address questions and concerns that the job seeker might have.
Why you should consider an informational interview
There are several reasons why an informational interview may be beneficial to you and your job search journey:
Knowledge and education
Whether you are new to an industry, or a seasoned professional, there is always room to learn more about a particular position or your related field. Informational interviews give the opportunity to expand your knowledge in a specific industry, discuss challenges or roadblocks and seek out opportunities. When speaking with an expert in the field, you will gain valuable insights into the expectations and responsibilities of a role, what skills are most sought after and the qualifications that employers are actively looking for. It is also an excellent opportunity to explore a career path in depth, which can give you a better idea of whether it will be a good fit.
When searching for a job, networking plays a key role. Informational interviews are a great resource, and an excellent way to make new connections and build relationships. When you build genuine connections with industry professionals, you never know what opportunity may arise from that relationship. Perhaps they know someone who is hiring, and recommend you, or perhaps they value your skills and will keep you in mind when an opportunity arises. Reaching out to a respected professional for an informational interview may lead to a valuable relationship, and open doors for you down the road, if not immediately.
Having a mentor, or someone in your corner who can offer advice and guidance throughout the job search process is incredibly beneficial. During the informational interview, you have firsthand access to someone who is familiar with the process and can offer valuable insights you may not otherwise have known. Ask questions about the job search process, for any recommended resources, or for their input on the hiring process and any tips that might help you succeed.
As the job seeker, it is your responsibility to ask for the informational interview. When doing so, be sure to maintain professionalism, respect, and prepare ahead of time to show that you are serious and value the individual’s time.
Most industry professionals enjoy sharing their expertise with others. Therefore, take advantage of an informational interview, and make the call today.
If you need help, or have questions about your job search journey, our team is also here to assist you along the way!