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Getting In: the Informational Interview

Getting In: the Informational Interview

An informational interview is, ideally, an in-person session spent with someone who can provide specific information about a career, company, or industry. It is not a job interview, though many informational interviews have led to offers of employment. Rather, it’s simply an opportunity for you to chat with a more experienced worker about the ins and outs of his or her job.

Informational interviews are indispensable for the following situations:

  • You’re exploring a career, company, or industry.
  • The company you’d like to work for says it isn’t hiring.
  • You need to jump-start your job search.
  • You’ve networked your way to some great contacts and want to further the relationship.

Because performance pressure is low, the most intimidating part of informational interviews can be setting them up. But just because it’s more casual than an “official” job interview, make sure you follow informational interview dos and don’ts.