If your job search is stalling it’s time to get proactive. It’s not a sign of desperation when you start asking for informal interviews. This is how good people land good jobs. You don’t just sit back and react to emails and job postings, you gotta get out there and start spreading your gospel.
Eileen Williams who writes for the Huffington Post recently wrote about targeted networking with a good explanation of it and how it will help. It’s pretty simple really, you want to hone in on people you know who either work at a place you want to target or are simply in that field. People who have risen to the top have gotten there using these practices, and most are willing to pay it forward and meet with someone who was in their shoes. Though, it’s crucial to be very considerate of time constraints. Be as flexible as you can in setting up informational interviews.
The first thing to do in an information-gathering interview is establish that’s what you’ll be doing.
That means you should leave your resume at home and keep away from the hard sell. You want to learn everything you can about the issues that are important to this person, and from this you can later position yourself as a good answer to common problems. This is what gives you an edge in later interviews, a broad understanding of the industry, its pain points and where you can add value by providing solutions.
The second important thing is tone.
You want to establish yourself as someone who’s easy to get along with and professional. It’s amazing how far a good attitude will get you. Sometime after you have this informal meeting, the person you talked with could run into someone who needs people and is looking for a referral. If you demonstrate a good attitude and personality this person won’t worry about you possibly embarrassing them, and bam you have a solid lead.
You structure the interview.
The person you’re meeting with isn’t going to prepare for the interview, so it’s up to you to keep it running in the direction you want it to. You don’t need a tight grip on the reins, but again establish respect for their graciousness with their time by not taking too much. It’ll be up to you to make sure things don’t go overboard.
Information-gathering interviews can be a lot of fun. They’re not as nerve-racking as regular job interviews, though they’re also not as loose as catching up with friends. You can find a nice balance and start getting your name out there as well keeping abreast of all the challenges people in leadership positions are facing. And by better understanding the challenges, you can better pose the solutions, and that’s what gets you hired.
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.