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Mastering the Art of Informational Interviewing

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Martin Gahbauer

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Mastering the Art of Informational Interviewing

Mastering the Art of Informational Interviewing Job
101 A successful job search requires building:
Your “brand”
Your elevator pitch
Your target list
Your network Don’t do it alone - rely on others: Coaches Peer Group Accountability Group Single
Networking! Why is networking so important? 80-90% of jobs landed thru networking
Talk to 25 decision makers to land a job*
*source – Lee Hecht Harrison Getting the word out
Family, friends, former colleagues –”you on the motorcycle!”
Like having a conversation
Do it in person or virtually
Use alumni offices & professional associations You’ve gotten a contact name at a target company or industry you’re interested in…….now what?

Informational Interviewing!! What is Informational Interviewing?
Let’s start by what it’s not:
A job interview So leave your resume at home or in your briefcase If it’s not about a job, why do it? Learn about skills/abilities needed to succeed in position or company Identify culture and fit potential Brush up on interviewing skills Generate contacts Increase your visibility Discover an area or field never knew about Stumble across hidden job market
Unlike Job Interview……….

YOU ARE IN CONTROL! Informational Interview Approach Phase I – Exploring Opportunities
Target: Anyone Phase II – Clarification & validation
Target: People @ your position level Phase III – Strategic prospecting
Target: People @ 1or 2 levels higher How to get an Informational Interview? Process that has worked for me:
Send request via e-mail or Linked-In to networking contact
Follow up with phone call
Hold interview
Send follow up thank you note
Update them on your progress Recommended request e-mail/Linked-In structure:
First paragraph – mention how you got their name and why you’re reaching out
Second paragraph – give them background about yourself
Third paragraph – ask time for brief informational interview and thank them in advance for consideration Let’s take a moment to write up a draft informational interview request How to conduct an Informational Interview? Be prepared – have your questions scripted
Be professional – dress appropriately and be on-time
Be a good listener – it’s all about the learning
Be a harvester – get additional contact names Be courteous – thank them for taking the time out of their day
Be giving – ask how you can help them
Be time conscious – stick to the time
Be yourself – it’s the only way
HAVE SOME FUN!! How to conduct an Informational Interview? How to conduct an Informational Interview? A suggested approach if you’re in Phase I or II:
Introduce yourself/recap your background
Ask them about their background
Ask your questions
Ask for any contact names
Ask how you can help them
Thank them Some suggested questions:
What can a person with my skills do in this field?
How did you get into this work?
What do you like the most about it?
What do you like least about it?
Where else can I find people that do this kind of work?
Do you have any names which I could contact?

Source: What Color is your Parachute? R. N. Bolles A suggested approach if you’re Phase III:
Introduce yourself/recap your background
Ask them about their needs
Link your benefits to their needs
Ask for any contact names (preferably hiring manager)
Ask how you can help them
Thank them What happens after?
Make sure to send a note thanking them again (you can never say thank you enough)
Follow up on the leads!
Provide occasional progress updates – if it makes sense Informational
Tree Any more tips? Be proactive
Be yourself
Practice interviewing on family and friends about things you’re really interested in
Build rapport by looking/listening for shared interests "The best way to make someone feel good about granting you an informational interview is to show you DESERVE the time. Do your homework. Be passionate. Be humble and try to get out of there in under 30 minutes no matter how well it is going. leave letting them know two things — how appreciative you are — and that their advice is more than INFORMATIONAL — that it will help you get the job done."
— Joe Livecchi
Source – shiftingcareers.blog.nytimes "My favorite was the friend of a friend of a friend who sent me a gushing e-mail and a plea for information about how to get a job in international journalism. So I sat down and wrote a long, thoughtful e-mail in reply (it probably took half an hour), explaining how things worked. I didn’t receive even a cursory acknowledgement that the e-mail had been received, let alone a thank you. But about four or five months later, I got a request from the same person, essentially asking that I sponsor him for a job in my news organization. Not!"
-- Superdave What other people had to say What other people had to say Vielen Dank
Thank You
How can I help you? Marty Gahbauer
Loyola University Chicago
CTC ALUM What is Informational Interviewing?

A highly focused discussion with a networking contact for the sole purpose of gaining information or knowledge To view this presentation, please visit: prezi.com
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