Your informational interview should be the beginning of a relationship, not a one-time conversation. In this video, learn how to nurture the working relationship with your contacts.
- Your informational interview should be the beginning of a relationship, not a one-time conversation. And it's your responsibility to make sure that happens. In any type of long-term relationship, people want to know three things which are can I trust you? Do you care about me? And will you deliver on promises made? Of course, your contacts are not going to ask those questions, but if your follow-up process shows that they can trust you, you care about them, and you do what you promise to do, you will establish life-long relationships with these contacts.
The first step is to follow up immediately after your interview. Of course, the easiest way to follow up is to send an email, but that may not be the most memorable way. The best, most effective way to follow up on any interview is to actually mail a follow up note. Write the words personal and confidential on the lower left-hand corner of the envelope to guarantee your contact opens your correspondence. Show your appreciation for your contact's time and mention a couple of things you learned.
Reiterate what actions you promised to take and subtly remind them of promises they may have made to help you. Your next follow up contact should be an attempt to nurture this relationship by sharing information or contacts that could benefit them. If you want to establish a long-term relationship, it needs to be a two-way street. If your contact has accepted your LinkedIn connection, be sure to thank them for that and any other actions they may have taken since your meeting.
And remember the research you conducted prior to your meeting? What did you learn about the contact? What are some of their interests? Those interests also give you an opportunity to keep in touch by providing contacts and information they'll value. As you nurture the working relationship with your contacts, always focus on the what's in it for them. If they value your follow up contacts, they'll be more inclined to help you throughout your career.
- Compare an informational interview to a job interview.
- Identify companies and contacts to interview.
- Prepare for an interview, by researching questions and updating your résumé.
- Conduct an informational interview.
- Analyze the results from your interview.