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How about Coffee-Info Interview
Transcript of How about Coffee-Info Interview
Conduct informational interviews (in person or phone) with two people in a profession, field, job, or graduate program you think you are interested in.
One of the purposes of this exercise is to grow your professional network – no relatives, and at least one person must be a new connection.
Summarize your meeting, including how you identified and connected with the person, what you learned and what actions you will take, or how you may plan or adjust your job search, as a result of your conversation.
Use any format, write at least 500 words for each.
Due 2 weeks, via Blackboard
Informational Interviews Assignment
You will get out of information interviewing what you put into it.
Don’t waste your time or the professional’s time.
PREPARE ahead of time.
LISTEN to what the professional has to say.
THANK the person and stay in touch.
Did you do any internships that gave you experience in your current field of work?
What are some entry-level jobs in this field?
What skills and qualifications are needed to enter this field?
How did you come to be in your current job position?
How did you get your start in this area (or with this company)?
What do you most enjoy about working for this company?
What do you do in a typical day/week?
What are major responsibilities/decisions/problems in your position?
Do you work more individually or do you frequently work with a team?
If you could change anything about your job, what would you change?
What are some trends and developments impacting the field?
What advice do you have for someone interested in going into this field?
Dress the part of a professional in the position you are interested in.
For phone or Skype information interviews, find a quiet place without distractions.
Find out as much as possible about the company and industry beforehand to ask informed questions.
Comment and compliment on interesting things you learned in your research about the professional or company.
Be Professional and Show Interest
Remember that this is YOUR meeting but you are on someone else’s time.
Plan an Agenda for the Meeting
Get potential people to contact for an info interview by asking friends, family members, faculty member, and former employers.
Info Interviews work best if done in person (face-to-face) in the setting you are interested in working. Next best would be by telephone or Skype.
Think 15 minutes (30 minutes max); work around THEIR schedule.
Identify the information you want
Locate people in your industry
Arrange for a meeting
Be prepared to answer questions about your career goals
Get names and business cards
Send thank you notes and follow up letter
Take advantage of any referrals you receive
Getting the Right Information. . .
Career ladder of field
Be prepared with questions.
Prepare a short, personal statement about your career goals and job search.
Bring your resume but do NOT offer it unless requested.
You can ask for other possible contacts in the field.
Ask for a business card (and offer yours, if you have one).
Be Prepared to Ask and Answer Questions
Remember that the purpose of the information interview is to obtain information--nothing more, nothing less.
An interview for a job.
A time to be unprepared.
A time to overly sell yourself.
What it is not . . .
A way to learn valuable information from professionals in the industry on career planning and job search strategies.
Find out what it is really like to work in a given field.
Evaluate whether the career is compatible with your skills, interests, lifestyle, and goals.
Build on your professional network.
Gain practice and confidence in networking and interviewing.
Be sure to send a thank you to the person you interviewed (and the person who gave you the name of this person).
Maintain contact with the person you interviewed, now as part of your network.
It is absolutely taboo to ask for a job during an info interview.
Can I Ask for a Job?
“A highly focused information gathering session with a networking contact designed to help you choose or refine your career path by giving you the ‘insider’ point of view.” -Richard Nelson Bolles
It is a meeting with a professional who can give you advice and help you learn more about their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential workplace. Information interviewing can take place in person, or via the phone or Skype.
Making the Request
SCRIPT IT—either call them or email them to set up an interview.
Say who you are and why you want to get together
Make it clear you are not asking for a job
Mention a personal referral or mutual interest
Ask for a brief meeting at a convenient time
I am a business major in the Freeman School at Tulane in my __ year, interested in a ___ career. ___ suggested you as someone who might be willing to talk to me about your career and share advice. Would it be possible to meet for coffee one day? Or, if it is more convenient to talk over the phone, could I schedule 15 minutes with you at your convenience?
What it is . . .
Ask INFORMED questions so you can get the information you want.
You can gather question ideas by researching your industry and company.
I came across your name through my research of Tulane alumni in the finance industry. I'm currently a rising junior studying finance with minors in entrepreneurship and art. I'd truly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about your experiences at ____ and get any advice or suggestions. Please let me know if and when you're available and how to best contact you. My email is ____ and phone number is ___. I'm really looking forward to hearing back from you. Thank you very much in advance.