Informational interviewing is an informal way of building your networks and expanding your understanding of an organization or gaining new information in the industry. The cool thing about this kind of interviewing method is that you’re not asking to be hired.
This kind of interview actually encourages a free exchange of ideas and information that probably would not have happened in a normal hiring interview. Many times in an informational interview you might receive a referral to another person or department that is hiring. I have done a few of these informational interviews so far. I have to say, although I was terrified of doing them at first, I have grown to enjoy doing them.
I have had opportunities to:
- Share my 30 second me (Elevator speech)
- Develop my inter-personal skills by interacting with strangers
- Communicate intelligently and effectively about the industry of my chosen career
- Discuss skills and certifications that might be benefitial for present and future career opportunities
- Learn about the culture of the company or organization
- Develop potential friendships and network connections that didn’t exist before
- Discover potential networking opportunities related to my career
My informational interviewing experiences so far have all been very positive. Everyone I’ve met so far have been very gracious hosts to me. Because there was no pressure to perform, it was easier to be more relaxed, learn about each other and share information. Another interesting thing to note. It has been my experience that people love to share what they know, who they are, and what they do.