What the heck are informational interviews

… and 7 tips to help you love them!

Informational interviews are the conversations you have when you are networking with people working in an industry you are interested in. It is that opportunity to exchange information. You get to listen to interesting people – because you are an interesting person. You get to learn from their experiences to help you direct your job search. And you get to share your insights about what you’re good at and what excites you in return. Informational interviews are about building and then nurturing relationships for the long term.

Informational interviews are NOT job interviews, they are NOT the time where you ask for a job, NOR are they the meetings where you give your resume out. Yes, it is best to have informational interviews in person, but a remote meeting is better than none.

The goals of an informational interview

  • build rapport with decision makers
  • build trust and credibility
  • gain knowledge, insights, feedback and information about them, their job, an organisation or industry
  • offer knowledge, insights, feedback and information and offer to help them in return.

7 tips to help you love informational interviews

Tip 1: Be informed
Enjoy first-hand and up-to-date information working in a particular role, organisation and industry rather than learning from a website. This includes insights into the realities, benefits and challenges

Tip 2: Be cool
Develop confidence and competence at building relationships because you present well and communicate well

Tip 3: Be liked
Become good at listening and building rapport and trust

Tip 4: Be prepared
Learn about issues that might direct or redirect your job search, help you edit the contents of your resume, and readjust your career expectations and interests

Tip 5: Be up to date
Build your job search savvy as you discover how other peoples’ careers evolve, what they love and what they loathe, and what factors positively and negatively influenced them.

Tip 6: Be a player
Expand your network with authentic relationships

Tip 7: Be awesome!
Demonstrate your commitment to, and love of, learning.

Go on, start your new year with a goal to make informational interviews a regular part of your commitment to being an interesting human being!

Rita Holland is the founder and Director of Job Search Matters and Employability and has forged her career as one of Sydney's most successful practitioners and thought leaders in career transition. The dream emerges.

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