For several young public relations professionals – between networking events and a formal job interview – there is the informational interview. So, what is an informational interview? It is an opportunity for job seekers to request information, advice and insight about a particular position and industry. To put it simply, an informational interview is a research and networking opportunity packed into one neat and professional meeting.
Not sure about scheduling an informational session with a PR professional? Here are three reasons to consider it:
LEARN MORE ABOUT A PARTICULAR POSITION OR COMPANY.
Scheduling informational interviews allow you to target professionals and companies that are most interesting to you. It is an opportunity to get answers to specific questions or ask for advice about breaking into the PR industry as a young professional. You become the interviewer, so take the time to prepare questions before the interview. Though informational interviews tend to be more casual and conversational than a formal job interview, it still speaks highly of your dedication as a professional and potential employee to come prepared.
BECOME A MEMORABLE CANDIDATE IF YOU APPLY LATER.
An article in Forbes declared that informational interviews can be even more influential than a cover letter. Connecting with a recruiter through an informational interview can make you a memorable and recognizable name among a stack of job seekers. Attending an informational meeting can help establish you as an enthusiastic and bright young professional with an interest to learn. That personal connection might just earn you a few more points in the selection process if you decide to apply for a position with the company later.
MAKE AN IMPORTANT PROFESSIONAL CONNECTION.
An informational interview is not the place to ask for a job. But it does help you create important internal connections within a company. In the public relations industry, those connections can be invaluable during the job hunt. If you aren’t meeting with a recruitment or human resources rep, you’re at least meeting with a current employee who understands the company and the hiring process. Informational interviews are also a great way to connect with potential mentors.
Whether you are a junior still deciding on a PR niche or a senior just weeks away from earning your degree, take the time to identify a professional in the industry you’d like to connect with. Informational interviews can play an important key role when it comes to nailing down a job after graduation.
-Post by Callie Gisler, Account Supervisor