Who Should I Contact For An Informational Interview ?
An informational interview is a hybrid of an industry infoblast, a job interview, and a networking conversation. To be clear, it is not a job interview and does not guarantee you a job. However, it can be really helpful in getting you a job if you make deeper connections with those you interview with. At the very least, it’s a great opportunity for you to explore career paths through conversations with people in industries that interest you— and build your network in the process.
Think of creating your informational interview list like building your own team. Who do you want to reach out to senior year when you are prepping for your dream interview? Who can help connect you to the right people? Who is going to believe in you? Make sure this group is diverse. Sure, it’s great to have the CEO of a company on your side, but also think outside the box-- don’t paint yourself into one corner. Reach out to people at different levels, from first-year associates to mid-level executives. Buying them lunch or coffee when you meet with them shows you are invested in their relationship and you value their time. People really enjoy talking about themselves and their careers so giving them that opportunity through an informational interview is a win/win.
So where should you start building contacts for your informational interview list ? Here are 5 possible sources:
Ask your parents to suggest friends and colleagues in industries you are considering.
Ask your advisor, professors, classmates, and college career center for ideas.
Network with your school alumni and Greek organizations.
Search major industry associations and companies through LinkedIn to find profiles of people in industries and careers you are interested in. Reach out through InMail.
Identify people you respect from following their work on social media.