Jul 312012

Preparing to Conduct an Informational Interview

You should have already learned how to research information about organizations and people. If you have not, get started by using websites, blogs, employer reviews, your personal and professional network and social media for a start. The more you know about an organization and the people you want to speak with, the more effective you will be in your conversation with a hiring manager. The Hiring Managers you will be contacting expect potential members of their team to be capable of holding a conversation about the industry and the work involved.

You should have also identified stories to communicate your accomplishments to others. If not, get on it! The stories of your accomplishments are your selling points and you will use now more than ever. You have to be able to help others see why you are a value add to an organization. If you cannot communicate your value, no one will be interested in hiring you. Remember that you have skills, you are capable of working hard and accomplishing tasks and it is up to you to be able to relate those things to others! Some things to keep in mind:

Research The Company & The Hiring Manager

  • The more knowledgeable you are about the business or industry and the Hiring Manager, the better questions you are able to ask.
  • Research will allow you to eliminate asking questions of a Hiring Manager that should be “common sense” to a professional who does their homework.

Practice Telling Your Stories of Accomplishment

  • Answering a Hiring Manager’s questions with a polished and well thought response is helpful to your image.

Being prepared with this information prior to a phone call increases your confidence and reduces stress, providing Hiring Managers a better presentation of your capabilities. You are going to be speaking directly with a Hiring Manager and need to be as polished as possible.

Get Your Questions Prepared

To be sure you don’t have any fumbling points, prepare a list of 10-15 questions that are of importance to you. Among those questions choose the top 5-7 you must ask during the call or conversation. Be certain to have this list in front of you when you have the conversation along with a pad of paper and pen.

Our Next Installment in the Series…

We will discuss exactly how to get an Informational Interview started…