Are you looking to switch careers? Or perhaps you just graduated and aren’t sure which career path to go down? As one of the leading Tempe employment agencies, PrideStaff can tell you that if you’re at a crossroads when it comes to your career, informational interviews are a great way to decide which path to go down.
What are Informational Interviews?
Unlike job interviews, informational interviews are simply used to learn more, not to pursue a certain opportunity. It’s still an interview with someone working in a career you’re interested in, but you’re seeking information about a field, company or certain kind of job.
Why Conduct Them
A few reasons include:
- You can gain relevant information about what the realities are like of working in a specific industry or career field.
- You can get advice and tips on how to break into the field, including lessons learned and mistakes made along the way from people in the know.
- You can expand your network to include people working in the field you’re interested in (including those who may be able to tell you about future job leads).
- You can practice your interviewing skills, which will serve you well in your future job search.
How to Set One Up
Identify those people who have jobs you think you’d be interested in. You can look for them online on sites like LinkedIn, read news articles to find contacts, tell your family and friends and ask them for referrals, and reach out to your alumni network.
Once you have a list of people you want to connect with, send each person an email introducing yourself, your background and explaining what you’d like to gain by interviewing them. Ask for 20 or 30 minutes of their time when it’s convenient for them. Be clear you are only seeking information; you’re not trying to hit them up for a job.
Once you’ve scheduled an informational interview, make sure you prepare ahead of time so you can get as much as possible out of it. Outline your questions, research the person you’re interviewing, and learn about where they work.
Some questions to ask include:
- How did you break into this career field?
- What kind of advice can you offer someone looking for a job in the field?
- What do you like most about working in this field? Least?
- What skills, education, and background do I need to get a job like yours?
One final word of advice: Once you’ve completed the interview, be sure to send a follow up “thank you” note to all those you interviewed.
Need more help getting your career on track?
Let PrideStaff know. As one of the leading Tempe employment agencies [http://www.staffingagencyphoenix.com/], we can help you identify your goals and needs, and then connect you with terrific job opportunities that are a fit for them. Find out more! Contact us today.