Written by Bliss NW Bridal account team members, Taylor Lukkes, Kylie Foster, Jackie Mayol, Sarah Teller and Kate Templeton.
What is an informational interview and why is it important? According to US News, an informational interview is a one-on-one conversation with someone who has a job you might like, who works within an industry you might want to enter or who is employed by a specific company that you’re interested in learning about. In order to have a successful informational interview, we have prepared some helpful tips to help you get the most out of your conversation!
Do Your Research
When going into an informational interview, it is crucial to have a base knowledge of the organization and what the person you are interviewing does. Being able to demonstrate that you have done your research shows that you spent time learning about the company and position and that you are genuinely interested.
Stay Up to Date on Current Events and the Industry
Demonstrating knowledge of the industry and a desire to keep up with current events will keep set you apart from other candidates and display your investment in the future of the industry. Employers not only seek candidates who are qualified but also passionate about the specific industry they are pursuing in a career.
Come Prepared With Thoughtful Questions
Be prepared to ask a range of questions specifically tailored to the position and the company. Demonstrate your curiosity and dedication to learn by asking specific questions about the employer’s experiences and the company’s values to gain a better understanding of the company culture.
Dress to Impress
It’s all about the details: be neat, be clean, be well-groomed. You want the interviewer to pay attention to what you have to say, not be distracted by what you’re wearing.
This is your time to learn from your interviewer and show them what you are passionate about. Don’t stress about memorizing lines to say in your interview. Treat it as a conversation rather than a stressful high-stakes interview. This will allow your personality to shine through.
Keep it Short
Even though you may be receiving a ton of great, insightful information, it is critical to always be mindful and respectful of the interviewee’s time. When you have about 10 minutes left in your meeting, casually mention you want to be “mindful of his or her time” and note the time you have left. This gives her the opportunity to either extend the interview, or transition to a graceful conclusion.
Tap Into Their Network
As you are beginning to wrap up your meeting, be sure to ask for recommendations of at least two or three people who would be good to connect with as you continue networking. This ensures an opportunity to talk with even more people because your initial request would be coming through a mutual contact. However, be sure to make your request is as specific as possible.
Follow Up Post-Interview
After the informational interview is over, it is important to follow up with the person/people who interviewed you. Sending a thank-you note or email is always a smart tactic. This is an additional way to reiterate how helpful speaking to them was and to show that you learned from this experience.