Job Interviews

Incredible: Informational Interview Success Story

Incredible: Informational Interview Success Story
I got this note recently from a reader who attended our free webinar called, “3 Steps to Flawless Informational Interviews.”

Dear J.T.,

I wanted to share with you my first shot at using the techniques you suggested. In short, the person I interviewed with was blown away by the amount of time I had taken to research him and the detail I had discovered and talked to him about. He also was very impressed by the written questions I asked, using information gained from my research and my "reporter" style of questions.

Just as I was about to ask him who he thought I should talk to following our meeting, he turned to a guy next to us in the Starbucks whom he knew. He told him he wanted to introduce me to him. My interviewee then raved about the detailed nature of my research which I carried with me in a folder with his name on it and casually sorted a bit before getting to my list of typewritten questions. He also alluded to the great questions I had come up with to ask him.

I don’t know where this is heading but I know for sure the experience has completely changed my attitude towards networking in person. I am sure he will remember me because I followed your webinar advice to try to form an initial relationship, one on one, instead of using more traditional techniques.

This was my response to him:

The real credit goes to you. Lots of people listen to the webinars, but they don't all take the advice. You deserve the amazing response you got because you did the work! It is pretty fun too, isn't it?

His answer:

Yeah, it was fun! Because I focused on him, instead of me, I shortly felt we had known each other for years and I think he did also. It took the pressure off me to impress him. Initially, I used Google to start my research on my interviewee. I found some information but nothing in depth.

After listening to (and recording) your web site webinar a second time, I decided to search using the Bing search engine in addition to Google and found a treasure load of info – pages and pages which I printed. I found he had a Twitter account so I read some of his tweets. This led me to a blog and a Nashville business magazine website - which had a ton of detailed articles about my subject. Then I used Word to type out real questions, editing as I went. However, because the first 2-3 led to such great extended discussions, I didn’t even get to all 8 questions.

Now, it’s your turn! There’s an old saying, “You can lead a man to water but you can’t make him drink.” I think in some ways it’s true. We can give you all the tools and tips in the world for free here at, but if you don’t apply them, they are useless. Yet,some people don’t have the self-discipline or confidence to apply these techniques without some guidance from an expert. If that sounds like you, then I’ve got some good news - we’ve got the aspirin to your career pain! Join us over at and we’ll help you customize your approach to your unique needs so you can get the results you are looking for. We offer a RISK-FREE 30-day trial with direct access to career experts. And, if you mention this post when you join, you will get a personalized video from an expert with a tailored career action plan to help you jump-start your efforts. J.T. O’Donnell is the founder of and CEO of, a web-based career development company.Photo credit: Shutterstock