How to reply when someone asks for an informational interview

You may have read articles about asking for an informational interview. I want to talk to you about the other side – what happens if you are asked for an informational interview.

First, let me tell you what an informational interview is not

An informational interview is not and should not be a request to be hired. While a job seeker is anxious to get hired, the purpose of this kind of interview isn’t to get the job. This is not an opportunity to hand off a resume, though that could happen at the end.

The informational interview is not a job interview.

This is also not a time to give all the dirt on a company. While giving someone a clear view of the company may mean pointing out both positives and negatives, it shouldn’t be trash-talking your company either.

So, you just said, “Whew, I am so glad that I am not supposed to get this guy hired!”

Yes, you are not supposed to be the hiring agent.

What is the purpose then of an informational interview?

The informational interview is a meeting to learn about the real-life experience of someone working in a field or company that interests you.

The job seeker, if properly coached, knows this but may still struggle with how an informational interview works.

When you help a job seeker by giving them an informational interview, focus on helping. The goal is to help the job seeker better understand your company and the field you are in to see if it fits their interests and personality.

What are the major benefits of informational interviews?

  • Get firsthand, relevant information about working within a particular field, industry, or position.
  • Find out about career paths unknown to the job seeker.
  • Get tips about how to prepare for or enter a given career.
  • Learn what it is like to work at a specific company.
  • Gain insider information to better target the company.
  • Initiate a professional relationship and expand your network.

Design Resumes is now featuring the Job Search Program in every package!

Why is this important? The Job Search Program created by Jason Alba, helps job seekers overall with the job search has a heavy emphasis on informational interviews.

Jason Alba describes this process:

This daily system will help you land your next job using a strategy based on informational interviews. I designed it to teach you:

  • How and where to find people to have informational interviews with.
  • How to ASK those people for an informational interview.
  • How to prepare for your informational interview with proper research.
  • How to create the right questions for your informational interview.
  • How to conduct the informational interview.
  • The four key objectives of every informational interview.
  • How to follow-up with the person you had the informational interview with.
  • How to follow-up with leads you get from your interviewee and start the entire process over.

If you want the full treatment, each of my 3 Design Resumes packages include this program and much more to best prepare you for the job search. However, if you just want the Job Search Program, it can be bought separately here.

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How to reply when someone asks for an informational interview

About Julie Walraven

You quickly see why my unique interactive coaching and strategic resume writing process isn't a cookie-cutter solution. You and I create your personalized job search strategy and define your value and showcase your accomplishments in your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, and so much more.