Mastering the Informational Interview
Posted on April 11, 2017
In American culture, it is normal to ask people in companies for informational interviews. An informational interview is a smart way to learn more about future jobs, company culture, while building professional relationships.
Informational interviews are not job interviews. They are not the interview that you get when you apply to a job. Those are called behavioral interviews. Instead, informational interviews allow you to be the interviewer!
Here’s the wikipedia definition:
An Informational Interview (also known as an Informational conversation) is a meeting in which a potential job seeker seeks advice on their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future workplace; while an employed professional learns about the job seeker and judges their professional potential and fit to the corporate culture, so building their candidate pool for future hires.
An informational interview generally last 20-30 minutes and take place over the phone, Skype, or in person. You ask people for an informational interviews by email.
Informational interviews are the most powerful tool in your job search. Remember employee referrals? Informational interviews help you become the person who is referred. Informational interviews are the top tool to help you find a job in the US. It is rare you to find a job in the US without doing informational interviews.
During informational interviews with professionals you discuss :
Details about the company they work for
Trends in the industry they work in
The purpose of the interviews is:
learn valuable information from your host
make a good impression
make a connection that may help you later in the job search