An informational interview is an opportunity to gather insightful career recommendations and job search advice from qualified professionals by asking the right questions.
I highly recommend using informational interviews to ‘reality test’ your thoughts and assumptions about the different job and career options.
Unlike a job interview where a company employee asks the questions and the conversation is about the employer’s needs, in an informational interview you get to ask the questions and the focus of the conversation is about your career needs.
Informational interviews are appropriate for everyone regardless of where they are in their careers or their current employment situations.
You can use informational interviews to:
(1) Discover career options that match your skills, interests, and personality
(2) Assess career ideas
(3) Gather insider information to help you find the right job at a specific company
(4) Find unadvertised job openings that have little or no competition
(4) Get advice and recommendations on how to land a job in a specific field or industry
(5) Improve your interviewing skills and preparing for upcoming interviews
If you don’t know about informational interviews, simply do an online search of the term – many colleges have websites that discuss them in detail, including sample request letters and questions to ask at informational interviews.
I also have a free/public website with lots of great content on informational interviews. The site is www.InformationalInterviewArticles.com
Additionally, I recommend checking out LunchClub, which is a new startup for connecting professionals who are looking to get ahead in their careers, find funding for their startup, or explore new business ideas and partnerships.