What is an informational interview and why should you care?

Since graduating from college in 2011, I have conducted dozens of informational interviews around the country. Career development websites might trick you into thinking this is just a tool for your “job search,” but I would encourage you to get comfortable asking people about their career choices and jobs wherever you are in your life. Some of my favorite conversations have taken place in lines at coffee shops, on trains, volunteering, and over holiday meals with family friends.

Recently, I read a book called Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and decided to share key takeaways below:

“Have you ever sat down and thought seriously about what you truly love? What you’re good at? What you want to accomplish in life? What are the obstacles that are stopping you? Most people don’t. They accept what they should be doing, rather than take the time to figure out what they want to be doing.”

I subscribe to his “karma-tinged” vision of how things work no matter how naive it may sound! Almost everyone has had to reach out for help to get a job interview, internship, or advice at some point.

“It’s a constant process of giving and receiving-of asking for and offering help. By putting people in contact with one another, by giving your time and expertise and sharing them freely, the pie gets bigger for everyone.”

• It will give you an opportunity to gather first-hand information (research) about career fields you are considering

• It provides the opportunity for you to expand your professional contacts

• You may receive honest advice about a profession or industry that you will never read in a book

• You can obtain valuable advice about entering and advancing in a field, as well as ideas for locating contacts or job leads within the profession

For great steps & tips check out Yale’s instructions on how to go about your informational interviews.

http://ucs.yalecollege.yale.edu/sites/default/files/InformationalInterviews.pdf

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