Remember, information interviews offers two distinct advantages. They provide serious career explorers an inside track regarding hidden job opportunities. Additionally, information interviews allow you to explore new career paths under the tutelage of industry veterans.
However, they are only effective if you actually conduct a meaningful interview! To do so, career seekers should remember the following guidelines:
- Be respectful of the expert’s time. Either because of a referral or because of your personal observation, you recognized their industry knowledge, contributions and achievements as the characteristics of an accomplished veteran. Consequently, their time is most certainly a limited commodity. By honoring this highly valued resource, you will cultivate a long-term, collaborative partnership based on mutual trust and respect.
- Schedule a time that is convenient for the interviewee. When arranging the interview, first take into consideration the expert’s availability and work around their schedule as much possible. Because they are most likely a senior member of a high performing team, ask the following questions: is this is a busy season for you; do you prefer a breakfast, lunch, or dinner appointment; and what area of town is most convenient for you to meet?
- Construct your questions before hand. Do not waste their time by “winging it” as this approach does not position you as a desirable job candidate or allow you to strategically reinforce your personal brand. If developed properly, the depth and capacity of your questions will demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, job function or specialty area. Further, if she chooses, the expert can seamlessly shift into the role of interviewer. Remember, your ultimate goals are to (a) learn more about a specific role; (b) discover newly posted job opportunities and (c) be targeted as a highly qualified candidate.
What ideas do you have to secure introductions you can use to schedule information interviews? Do you have any examples of interview questions you have found useful? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below and share your experiences.
Article originally printed on Examiner.com by Margi Williams and approved for reprint.