Informational interviews are a great way to get yourself out there as well as learn more about the industry and position you are looking to be hired for. If you’re lucky to land one, you want to make sure you’re prepared and can make the most of it. Your goals for the interview should be pretty simple, you want to learn as much as you can about the challenges your industry faces, as well as what sorts of skills are in high demand. Learning all the jargon and the technology is also helpful and can make you look really astute in future job interviews.
Remember it’s not about you
When you meet with people it’s about gathering information and you can’t do that if you’re the one doing all the talking. Keep your introduction short and make sure the person knows that this is an information-gathering interview.
But you run the show
It’s important to be well prepared for the interview. Pretend you’re a journalist (unless of course you are one already) and map out some questions. You want the conversation to flow naturally so feel free to break from the outline you create, but still create one. You want to be able to steer the conversation into the information you want to capture and to dive as deeply as you can. Of course, you should follow etiquette and be gracious. You want to show respect for the person’s time and thank them for it by making it as enjoyable as possible for them.
It’s amazing how informational interviews really give your job hunt a boost. It grows your confidence and arms you with information that can really make a difference in a future job interview. And keep in mind that this person has colleagues and maybe while he’s having lunch with one of them, he finds out they’re looking for someone like you. This is often how jobs are found. Good luck and happy interviewing.
NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.