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Easy Informational Interview Guide To Get More Referrals and Job Opportunities
The best way to narrow down your options and figure out what your ideal career fit is is to get out from behind your computer and start talking to people. It’s time to fall in love with a strategy called an “informational interview” to get information about a field of work from someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in it.
I can’t tell you enough how important these interviews are. It is so much better to learn if you like a certain profession before going into it and this is a great way to do it. I almost went straight to law school right out of college but fortunately, I did an informational interview with a lawyer and realized it just wasn’t for me. I could have wasted so much time and money if I hadn’t spent those 15 minutes just learning about the field before I made the jump!
Informational interviews can also help you get your foot in the door for a future dream job and get you into the hidden job market, the jobs that aren’t even advertised online. Over 80% of jobs right now are found through networking plans, only 20% are found online so that is why you see us focus on networking A LOT on our site. The company you are doing an informational interview at may not have openings right now but if you make a good impression, they will surely think of you when an opening becomes available.
So remember, people want to help you, but they can’t help you if you don’t ask. So inside this article, you have a draft email template you can use, you have questions to ask and a sample script to use. Just get the first one done, start learning more about potential career fields and get ready to start narrowing down what your ideal career fit is!
I challenge you to email at least 2 people today in career fields you may want for an informational interview and get ready for your network to expand and new opportunities to come your way!

Here are the 6 steps to informational interview success:

Step 1: Research

Make sure you know as much as you can about the company and the person that you are interviewing. It’s always helpful to know what they look like too so you can easily recognize them and make a great first impression (see their profile pic on LinkedIn).

Step 2: Rehearse

Before the scheduled interview, make sure to know their name, directions and title of their position. Be ready to give a fabulous elevator pitch to make a great first impression. Also, be prepared to answer the question of why you are doing this. This is a good question because what you are doing is unique and shows your determination. Most people don’t spend the time to do informational interviews. This gives you an opportunity to really pitch yourself and show how great of an addition you would be on their team!

Step 3: Dress

You don’t want to wait until the last minute to figure out what to wear or to realize that you have to iron something. Have your outfit laid out the night before the interview. You want to dress the part. Always remember the appointment time and be prompt for your interview. Look your best but don’t be too casually dressed nor overdressed. Simple regular business attire is appropriate.

Step 4: Breathe and Relax

Seriously you are going to stand out so much for asking for this interview. The very first informational interview I did, the woman said that she would refer me to her company because of how proactive I was. If you are nervous or scared, don’t be. What have you got to lose!
Also, be enthusiastic and interested in learning. Professionals can tell if you are conducting an informational interview just to complete an assignment or if you are truly interested in what they do. You will quickly see that you are gaining more confidence which each informational interview that you do!

Step 5: After: Thank and Follow-up

Never forget to follow up with a thank you email or letter! People so often forget this so if you send a hand written letter or a very nice email, you will surely stand out and not be forgotten! To end an informational interview, always thank your interviewee for their time and help. The interviewee has taken time out of his/her busy schedule just to help you so never forget to tell him/her how they helped you and stay in touch!

Informational Interview Email Templates

Sample Informational Interview template #1

Make sure you revise this template to fit your situation.
Dear (Name of Person)
I am currently an MBA student at the Rady School of Management at University of California, San Diego. My career counselor at the Rady School suggested I contact you to conduct an informational interview.
My passion and desire is to become (your career target) and your background and experience will be invaluable to me as I pursue my career. At your convenience, I would like to schedule a 15-minute informational meeting with you in person or over the phone. The purpose of the meeting is to gather additional information that will better assist me with my career decisions. Thank you for considering my request.
Thanks,
(Your Name and contact information)
*Notice how I only asked for 15 minutes of their time. Most professionals have 15 minutes to spare to help you out. But, if you ask them to meet you in person or ask for an hour of the time, you will be less likely to get a response.

Sample Informational Interview Template #2:

Make sure you revise this template to fit your situation.
Dear (Name of Person)
I am currently Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and I am considering a career transition into starting my own business as a Career Coach. I found your website online and I was very impressed with your experience and background. Congrats on your success!
I wanted to contact you to conduct an informational interview. My passion and desire is to become Career Coach and your background and experience will be invaluable to me as I pursue starting my own business. At your convenience, I would like to schedule a 15- minute informational meeting with you in person or over the phone. The purpose of the meeting is to gather additional information that will better assist me with my career decisions. Thank you for considering my request.
Thanks,
(Your Name and contact information)

Sample Informational Interview template #3

Sample email template for someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile:
Hi Friend! It’s been forever since we chatted so I wanted to reach out and see how you are doing. Would love to catch up on the phone or have coffee sometime over the next month if you are available. Looking forward to catching up! I would also recommend adding something specific to the person such as “How is your job at Qualcomm going these days?” or “How is your dog doing?” This will just make it a little more personal and they will be much more likely to hit reply.

Hi, I'm Anna!

I’ll help you create a career strategy and plan so you can finally have a job or business you love that supports the life you really want.

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