Informational Interviews - The Secret to Landing Your Dream Job

Horizon Job Alert 13 September, 2023

Have you ever wished you could pick the brain of someone who works in your dream job? Want to find out what skills and experience you need to land that coveted position? Well, you're in luck because that's exactly what an informational interview is! In this blog, I'll cover everything you need to know about informational interviews, why they're important, and how you can request one.

What is an informational interview?

An informational interview is a meeting where you get the chance to ask someone who works in your desired field questions about their career path, company culture, or what they do day-to-day. It's a great way to learn about the job market and industry from a professional's point of view. Here are some reasons why you should request an informational interview:

Gain Advice and Tips

An informational interview can provide you with guidance on how to get your foot in the door of a specific industry or company. You can get tips on how to stand out in your job search and what skills you should focus on building to impress potential employers.

Build Your Network

These conversations can be used to expand your professional network. Having good networking skills can lead to unexpected job openings, connecting you with mentors, or getting a recommendation to your desired position.

Get Your Foot In The Door

The majority of companies tend to hire internally or on the recommendation of someone they know as opposed to relying solely on job applications. An informational interview could help you find out what job openings they have, or that they are coming up soon.

Should you request an informational interview?

Of course! This is a no-brainer. An informational interview is well worth your time and effort, it has such great benefits, and you never know what can come of it. All in all, this could just be the thing that gives you the edge over other applicants.

Here’s how to request an informational interview:

Identify the Person

Decide who you want to contact. Research the company, social media and LinkedIn to find employees who might be suitable for your questions.

Reach Out

Now that you know who to connect with, reach out to them via email, phone, or LinkedIn. Explain what you're looking to gain from the interview and why you're interested in their advice. Be professional, courteous, and apologetic if they are unavailable.

Prepare Your Questions

Your questions should be tailored to your job search journey or industry exploration. Some ideas include: "What led you to your current role?", "What does a typical day look like for you?", or "What skills and qualities are necessary to be successful in this field?"

Meet Up or Hop on a Call

Conduct an in-person meeting, phone or zoom call, or video conference. Prepare your interview settings, dress professionally and show up punctually.

An informational interview is an excellent way to learn more about a company or industry and acquire information that can help you land the job of your dreams. It allows for networking, mentorship, and valuable insights into the hiring process. Remember to put in the effort to request one, prepare your questions, and thank them for their time. Go ahead and schedule that informational interview, and let it be the turning point to reaching your desired career.