Unemployment Quick Tip: The Power of Informational Interviews

I often challenged the long-term unemployed to a game of Informational Interview Bingo. It's where they have to conduct five informational interviews a week for five weeks. (If they do all 25, their bingo card would be filled.) By the end, if they don't have a job, or are at least in the process of being considered for one, I lose. However, I've never lost. Here's why:

  • They either don't do the five interviews per week to fill the card.
  • They do the interviews and get a job before the card is filled.

Informational Interviews Are Game-Changers!

Why do I push my unemployed job seekers to do informational interviews? Because they work! Plain and simple: When you start having meaningful, professional conversations with people in your field, you gain confidence, energy, and momentum. Talking to others gets you referred – and that gets you hired. You must make the effort to meet with as many people as you can to have discussions around work. It's the only way to show people your skills and abilities. Plus, it makes you memorable. Meaning, when they hear about a job, they'll remember to refer you to it. Don't underestimate the power of informational interviews. Honestly, the hardest part about them is setting them up. Yet, there are 1,000s of people out there online you can find and connect with as a way to ask for informational interviews. All it takes is a little effort. How much is a job worth to you? I think enough to want to set up five informational interviews each week. Try it and you'll be saying, “BINGO!" before you know it.

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Engaged students raise their hands in class

I have had moments in my schooling that shine brightly—playing a card game in Mr. Ritter's 8th grade social studies class with the true purpose being to show just how difficult it was to survive the Holocaust as well as having an opportunity to create our own country using the same economic, social, and political characteristics that define authentic nation states. I also remember Ms. Ziemba's 9th grade English class where she would routinely pause our reading of fiction to allow us to predict what would happen next as well as my foreign language classes with Mrs. Kane—"Madame"—and Mr. Tellis where we would act out every day conversational scenarios using tone, props, and facial expressions.

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