Informational Interview 101
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again — connections are key when it comes to the professional world. Perhaps a bit less daunting than a bustling networking event, informational interviews are an excellent way to meet people, learn more about your industry and ultimately, land your next dream job or internship.
If you have somebody specific in mind for an informational interview, reaching out directly via email or LinkedIn message is generally a safe bet. If you haven’t met this person before, quickly explain any connections you may have before diving into your reason for contacting them. Keep your message concise and have a meeting location in mind, perhaps a coffee spot near their workplace or their office itself.
Optional step for my fellow anxious people: Show yourself some love with a quick motivational pep talk, strike a power pose and try your best to quell any nerves by remembering the person you’re about to meet was once very likely in your shoes. You’ve got this!
Perhaps it goes without saying but arrive on time and be respectful of the fact that somebody is taking time from their busy workday to meet with you. If you’re looking for a natural conversation-starter, ask about their own path from student to professional. People love to talk about themselves and will likely appreciate the opportunity to reflect on their career journey. Another tip: Leverage this opportunity to advance your network and ask if they know anybody who might be a good contact for you moving forward.
Whether you opt for an email or a handwritten note, it’s always a good move to send some sort of thank you message within 24 hours of your meeting. Thank them for their time, keep it brief, maybe touch on one of the topics of your conversation — and whatever you do, double-check spelling before you hit send.
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broadhead, Minneapolis’ largest independent, full-service agency, champions those that create and inspire progress in farm, food and wellness. Since 2001, broadhead has helped brands like Boehringer Ingelheim, Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP and California Strawberry Commission discover their greater.
Laura Omodt, Communications Manager at broadhead.