An information interview is a great way to get to know a bit more about who might be hiring you. They are also exceptional ways to build your network, learn about an industry, and sharpen your communication skills. So how do you go about getting an information interview and why are they important during your job search?
Always have questions ready
You never know when or where your information interview can happen. You can definitely call or email to reach out and request an information interview. However, as you network you might happen on some professionals. If so, ask them some questions! Impromptu information interviews can sometimes lead to other opportunities.
Questions you can Ask
Before picking up the phone and requesting a possible interview, be sure to have a set of questions. How about asking about the employment trends for that specific company/industry in the last few years. Ask about what the company expects to do in the next few years. Also, ask the person you are talking to about how their experience at the company has been like!
The hidden Job Market
An information interview should be an important part of your job search game plan. There are so many benefits to requesting and having one. However, one of the major benefits of one is tapping into the hidden job market. When you talk with someone in a company (ie. Hiring manager or decision maker) you are getting to know the company; you are also getting to know if they might be hiring. Although the main goal here is simply to ask questions to help you strengthen your skills, network and knowledge; you must not inquire about job openings or positions with the company. The information interview is strictly about ‘information gathering’ and should not be one about asking for a job.
Expanding your network
Even if there is no chance of working at the place, it is still another addition to your network. As you continue your job search it is very important to grow your network and as you do so continually learn more about the people and companies that are in your field.
Don’t be scared to pick up the phone or email–reach out as much as you can, you will be surprised how many people that are willing to talk to you!