All job-seekers are being told the importance of researching the companies they are interested in, following people who works on the industry they want to join, attending networking events, trying to engage people online using LinkedIn or other social media tools…but what about informational interviews?
“Informational interviews are essential to helping you find out more about the type of industry, company, or role you’re interested in, speaking to someone directly gives you the opportunity to test your assumptions” Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out Networking
“An informational interview is a meeting featuring a conversation about a particular company or industry between you and someone who may be in a position to help you get a job in the future, either directly or indirectly,” Andy Teach, corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation.
“The best job search is not actually to apply for jobs but to spend your time networking and asking for informational interviews” Steve Dalton, author of the 2-hour job search.
So, what are the differences and the benefits to start using informational interviews for your job search?
Steve Dalton´s interview will give you all the tips you need to start using it on your job-search, but here you have a summary of the main benefits and differences:
• The job-seeker is prepared with an agenda to encourage the contact to talk about themselves.
• People enjoy more talking about themselves than listening to others, so they are more likely to accept talking to you in the first place.
• You are building a network and stablishing likeability with trusted professionals in that specific sector. They will also become your eyes and ears and they will contact you if something comes up. They will become your advocates before you even start job-searching.
• You have a better understanding of the types of projects they work and the problems that keep them up at night, so you are building your credibility and understanding of the role when contacting employers or going for interviews in your job-search process.
If you would like to carry out an informational interview, Steve Dalton is recommending the following:
• Using the TIARA FRAMEWORK- you will frame the interviewer as an expert at the start of the conversation
• Researching the Company– focusing on the website headlines, the positive news they are talking about but also googling the headlines about the company, to be aware of negative news too.
• Following Up- sending a thank you note after a couple of days, acknowledging that favour.
For more information you can read “How to get the most out of an informational interview”