To get the best results from your informational interviews, you have to do your homework. This video will tell you what you need to know to be successful.
- More than anything else, preparation is the key to success when you're getting ready for an informational interview. It's not enough to know the industry or occupation you're targeting and have a written list of questions. You'll have to do your homework. Thorough research makes all the difference between wasting your time or actually reaping the benefits of informational interviews. In order to get the best results from your informational interviews, you need to know about your targeted occupation, the specific industry, and the person you're contacting.
When you begin to research the occupation you've targeted, identify professional associations that represent the occupation you've targeted, and read their website and publications. It is their job to keep their members informed of the most current data and trends, so they're a great source of information. Print out job descriptions from job board ads and the Department of Labor. Review the responsibilities, necessary credentials, and the types of companies hiring individuals in your targeted occupation.
This information can also provide you with additional information on companies and the industry. To learn more about your targeted industry, setup Google alerts for items pertaining to the industry. Initially, you're going to get too much information, but as you learn more about the industry, you can refine the alerts to get just the most relevant material. Trade publications are another good source of information. Subscribe to the publications read by people in your targeted occupation.
Look for articles and blogs about industry trends, new technology, and economic forecasts. All good information that will help you sound like an insider. Once you know something about the occupation and industry, it's time to research your contact. Your contact will expect you to know something about them and their company before you meet. Uncover relevant information and any common denominators from their LinkedIn profile, website profile, Google search, or former employees who worked for this contact.
Reach out to anyone you know who has worked for a specific company. Past employees can provide information you won't find online. And finally, there's a strong possibility that your contact will research you before your informational interview, so update your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your recommendations are stressing skills and talents that align with your targets, then create or update your personal website and be sure to clean up your social media accounts.
Make sure your privacy settings are working and ask your friends to remove photos or postings that would have a negative impact on your reputation. You want your personal brand to reflect the type of person preferred by your targeted occupation and industry. Research takes time and is hard work, but when you're prepared, you'll enjoy the best possible results from your informational interview experience.
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- Informational interview vs. job interview
- Selecting a specific occupation
- Identifying appropriate companies and contacts
- Scheduling an informational interview
- Preparing and researching before an interview
- Updating your résumé
- Asking good questions
- Listening and taking notes
- Following up
- Contacting referrals
- Building your network