An informational interview is not the same as a job interview. It is characterized as a short meeting held with someone that is very much like a mentor, or an individual who may have connections or influence with other people in your field or industry. Related: How To Conduct An Effective Informational Interview Anyone willing to offer you an informational interview is there to help address your questions, provide advice on how to enter or advance in a particular field of work, and offer opinions on companies in the industry. They may even help direct you to the right contacts for job opportunities.
5 Rules To Remember For An Informational InterviewAs you are the one asking for help, there are rules to remember when you request and conduct an informational interview.
1. Make it clear you are not asking them for a job.People are more willing to take time to speak with you if you make it clear upfront that you want to meet for advice and not to ask for a job. Remember to approach the meeting with that in mind, and not turn around directly asking them for a job.
2. Limit the meeting to less than 30 minutes.Everyone’s time is valuable. The interviewer is taking time out of their busy schedule to help you, so make good use of the time.
3. Ask for advice.The interviewer doesn’t know exactly what he/she can help you with unless you ask. Seek out advice to any questions you have. For example:
- “What do employers look for in a job candidate in the field of XYZ?”
- “Where are the best places to find job opportunities in XYZ?"
- “What are some of the challenged to working in….?”
- “What type of training or education is needed to continue to advance in this profession?”
- “How did you get into….?”
- “What do you like about working in….?”