If done right, informational interviews will lead to the next step in your career, so you need to make sure you get all you can from them. Barb Bruno teach you how to take a step back and record, analyze, and evaluate each informational interview experien
- If done right, informational interviews will lead to the next step in your career so you need to make sure you get all you can from them. You want to improve your process with each meeting. So let me teach you how to take a step back and record, analyze and evaluate each informational interview experience. Immediately following your informational interview, find a quiet place to record all the information you've gathered. Review the notes you took and elaborate on them as much as possible to help you remember details when you later analyze your results and attach the business cards of anyone you interacted with.
Write down your initial impression of the meeting including the good, bad and ugly. Rate your experience on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the highest. Make some quick notes on what you should have asked to get better results. Once you get home, you need to organize the information. I've included a spreadsheet in the exercise files that includes a list of questions you'll want to answer after each experience. It also has a place for you to enter the contact information for each person for your future reference.
Next, review your answers to these questions from all the informational interviews you've conducted to identify patterns or trends. Ask yourself if each experience is helping you get closer to the job of your dreams or do you find yourself less interested by the information you're gathering? Analyze the positives of each conversation to see if they align with what is most important to you and your career. Then analyze the negatives to determine if any of them are road blocks or deal breakers.
I'd like to share some examples. You may have targeted physical therapy as your targeted career. You then learned you will need two or three additional years of schooling and you realized your grade point average may not be high enough to be accepted into the program. Your target could be in sales management only to find out the career involves extensive travel which is a deal breaker because you have small children. Maybe the hospitality industry looked perfect from the outside because you love dealing with people and planning events.
But after talking to insiders, you found that most of them worked 60 plus hours a week including evenings, weekends and holidays. Not exactly the work schedule you wanted. When you record, evaluate and analyze the results from your informational interviews, you can improve your questions to get the answers that will guide your decisions. And eventually, you'll find the career that best suits your interest, personality and goals.
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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