Informational interviews are a great way to build professional relationships and network your way into companies. Not sure how to prepare? There are a few things you MUST do before your next informational interview…
1. Give them some options.
People generally want to help you out, but people are also busy! It’s important to be understanding and respectful of their time. When you reach out to a potential networking connection, give him or her some options. Throw out a few different dates and times. Offer to come to buy them a cup of coffee at a shop near them, even if it requires a long drive or a train ride on your part. Or, see if you can set up a quick 15 minute phone call.
2. Do your homework.
Make sure you do your homework before you go into the informational interview. Check out the person’s LinkedIn profile and understand some basic information before meeting with this person. Try your best to have answers to these questions:
- Where did he/she go to school?
- What does his/her company do?
- How long has he/she been in her position?
3. Keep your social media on point.
These days, “Googling” everything and everyone is expected. That’s why you need to be prepared in the event that your connection will Google YOU before your informational interview. Clean up your social media accounts or make them private so no one can see them. In addition, be proactive and take steps to improve your online presence by updating your LinkedIn profile, creating a personal website, or building an online portfolio. All of this will give your personal brand a boost.
Before you go into your next informational interview, make sure you’re prepared! Use these tips to get the most out of the meeting.
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Post by Ariella Coombs
Photo Credit: Bigstock