Informational Interviews are an incredibly potent tools in:
- Discovering or confirming what you want to do in your career,
- Bettering your skills and network,
- And lining up multiple job offers (your key objective as you ready to enter the workforce)
In job search, as in all things, activity breeds results. The more you engage, the greater the results. This happens for two very good reasons:
- Skills rise with activity. The more repetitions you have, the better you get at engaging and in this case honing key skills like:
- Setting up interviews
- Nailing those interviews
- ‘Pitching yourself’
- Learning about options you might have in the future
- And key, follow-up
- The other benefit is that the more people you talk to, the more opportunities you will find. Those ‘prospects’ become potential jobs or internship offers
Again today we look to Ben Carpenter. Wall Street Executive and author of The Bigs: The Secrets Nobody Tells Students and Young Professionals About How to Find a Great Job, Do a Great Job, Be a Leader, Start a Business, Stay Out of Trouble, and Live A Happy Life.
The book talks in depth about the power and importance of informational interviews. I will conclude this post with a video from Ben himself on this activity.
He aptly points out how too often job seekers underestimate the amount of activity required to nail a job search. We live in ultra competitive times, and the more you engage, the better the results. This means, to get the role you are dreaming of, with the future you are yearning for, you need to really nail the search itself.
Carpenter suggests engaging in 40-50 informational interviews. If that seems daunting, just compare it to what would happen if you actually performed at this level of activity. How would:
- Your network expand,
- Your ability to pitch both who you are and what you want to improve,
- Your ability to question and listen sharpen,
- Your follow-up skills advance,
- And how many job or internships would you have discovered?
This is yet another reason for freshmen to launch from their first semester into elements of their job search. If one begins in their freshmen year, they would need to do 12-14 informational interviews a year. They could and should leverage Thanksgiving break, holiday breaks and summers (even if you have an internship during the summer).
Remember these statistics:
- 40% of college students get their 4 year degree within four years
- 60% get it in six years or less
- But only 50% of those graduates get a job that required a degree. The others start out either under employed or unemployed.
Don’t let this be you. The jobs are out there, opportunity abounds, but it is a competitive world but only those who seize the day and are the architects of their advantage realize it.
Listen to Ben Carpenter (by the way his website and his book has terrific advice).
Good luck, now get moving!
Looking for more on Informational Interviews? Check out the rest of our 7 part series:
- Part 1: Introduction to Informational Interviews- What is an informational interview
- Part 3: How to Get the Interview- Best practices for getting an interview
- Part 4: Pre-Requisites- Pre-Requisites to make the most of your interviews
- Part 5: LinkedIn University Pages- How to maximize virtual job search
- Part 6: Email Templates- Templates for reaching out to professionals
- Part 7: Summary- Review of everything Informational Interview