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Informational Interview

How to prepare for and conduct and informational interview

Rachel Enochs

on 6 February 2014

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Transcript of Informational Interview

COU 2103: Spring 2014
How to Conduct an Informational Interview
What is an Informational Interview?
A conversation with an individual who can give you advice about an organization, a field or work, or a particular job that interests you
Making the most out of your Informational Interview
determine if a career field or company is the right fit
uncover new possibilities in a field
gain insight into employers and the realities of employment
learn jargon and important issues in the field
gain confidence in dealing with the workforce and learn what you need to know
broaden your network of contacts and possibilities
Conduct Research on Your Career Preferences
Once you have some career options in mind, you should engage in a search for information to learn as much as you can about the career or organization
As you become more informed about the organization or career field, then you will be able to ask more relevant questions that could have easily been answered by doing your homework
Identify Potential Employers to Interview
Personal contacts (friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, professors)
Organization directories
Public speakers/presenters on a topic
Recruiters from the career fair
According to the Department of Labor, 63% of people find their jobs through networking
Methods of Contact for an Interview
By Phone
: Introduce Yourself & Explain Your Intent
In person
: Keep in mind that the individual may be busy- work with the receptionist to schedule an appointment if necessary
With referral
: Call someone you know or someone who has been referred to you by a friend, and ask the potential interviewee for an information interview
By letter
: Include the name of the person you would like to interview, a brief intro of yourself and why you are writing to them
: Alumni Network, Professional Groups
: Mentor List
Develop a List of Questions
Job Duties
Future Potential
Personal Experiences
Rewards of the job
Advancement Potential
Skills Needed
Criteria for Hiring
Utilize the Interview Process
Network: Realize that the person you are interviewing is a networking contact
Referrals: He/She may be able to refer you to someone else who can help you- ask your contact to suggest names of others who might be helpful to contact
Share Information: But do not dominate the interview by talking about yourself. Keep the interview conversational
Listen: Be receptive and show that the information he or she is providing is important to you. Take notes so that you can reflect on the information given.
Send a Thank You Letter
Be sure to send a thank you letter within 48 hrs after the interview and include the following:
that the interviewee was very helpful
a request that the person keep you in mind if they come across any other information that may be helpful to you in your career research
thank the interviewee for his or her time.
Last Minute Hints
Be prepared to make a good impression and be remembered by the employer
Dress appropriately for work environment/culture
Do not mix information interviews with job seeking
Be enthusiastic and show interest in the profession
Employ an informal dialogue during the interview
Be direct and concise with your questions
Maintain good eye contact and posture
Be positive in your remarks and reflect a good sense of humor
Keep in Mind that...
One person cannot give you all the answers
avoid making impressions about an area of work based solely on whether the person interviewed was likeable or the surroundings were attractive
You won't be rejected in an information interview, as in a job interview, but you can learn a great deal!
Texas State University Career Services "preparing to conduct an information interview"
Full transcript