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Informational Interviews – Part Three – How To Get The Interview

Posted by LearnEarnRetire on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

informational interview

Informational interviews are vital tools in your arsenal of job search weapons. They can also help you through the process of discovering what you want to do in your career.

Remember, you are asking a favor from a professional in the field that you are interested in, to spare some time out of their incredibly busy schedule. How do I know they are swamped? Because you only want to talk to over-achievers, they are more in the know, have more relevant experience, and are more influential in both their company as well as their industry.

Again we turn to Ben Carpenter, Wall Street executive and author of ‘The Bigs’. He says, “Because you are asking people for a favor, it is important that these people feel a connection from you.”

He goes on to note areas of potential connection:

  • Family,
  • Friends,
  • Your college,
  • Or anything else you share in common.

But Carpenter goes even deeper. He tells us to focus on special interest contacts. These are the ones who years ago, had the same professor, coach or advisor as you do now on campus. As you reach out for informational interviews, these contacts are even more likely to help you because they shared a professor or mentor in common with you.

For this advantage, talk to advisors, coaches or teachers that you are close with and tell them about your aspirations. Then see who they know who is working in your area of interest.

You need to ask yourself, am I looking exceptional, and do I appear to have high promise to the influential people in my world? If so, they will be more willing to help and to turn you on to their A-List contacts.

Carpenter makes a great point, “The more people you talk to, the stronger job candidate you will be.” Check out Carpenter’s video. Also, I strongly recommend his book, The Bigs (The Secrets Nobody Tells Students and Young Professionals About How to Find a Great Job, Be a Leader, Start a Business, Stay Out of Trouble and Live a Happy Life) and for you to dig deeper through his website. It is full of great content and the videos are must views.

So where to from here?

  1. Be constructively looking for both what you are passionate about AND job offers themselves, during the entirety of your college years. You want to secure multiple job offers (or hot job prospects at minimum) by the holiday break of your final year.
  2. Informational interviews, as in 40-50 of them, will help you down that road and will build your interview skills. This will build your confidence, a key component of searching for a job.
  3. Not only do you need to leave campus employed, you need to be great at job searches over the course of your career. Continuous employment has very powerful ramifications for your long-term success.
  4. You have to be good at finding career opportunities, not just waiting for a company to come recruiting on campus. Rather you need to be good at expanding employment possibilities. Again, this will help you not only for your college job search, but throughout your career.
  5. This series on informational interviews can help in a big way!


Looking for more on Informational Interviews? Check out the rest of our 7 part series:

Ask Alan a New Question Here!


Topics: Job Search, Multiple job offers, internships, Job Selection