What is an informational interview?
An informational interview is an opportunity. It's an informal conversation with someone working in an area that interests you. It is not a job interview, and the objective is not to ask for a job. The purpose of an informational interview is to gain career advice, industry insights, and suggestions for getting your career started. This tool can also provide you with perspective on career options and job opportunities – it's a first step to successful networking!
Here's how we can help
With over 800 members, the Centennial Hub on Ten Thousand Coffees makes it easier to connect with industry professionals, Centennial alumni, faculty, staff and students for informational interviews. The Centennial Hub gives you access to professionals in a range of career fields. Simply search for people in your field and connect with them on the platform.
Here's how to get started
1. Search theCentennial Hub for alumni and industry professionals you'd like to connect with. Use various keywords to find the right matches. Identify 5 – 10 potential mentors to reach out to.
2. Prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask. For example, you can ask them what a typical career path in the field is, ask for tips for entering the job market, ask about challenges in the field, typical duties and responsibilities, etc. A list of sample questions can be found on HireCentennial.
3. Send a personalized invitation requesting a meeting to each person on your list. Be flexible to meeting them in-person or via phone call.
Congrats, you have a meeting set-up!
- Be sure to prep for your meeting, including having your list of questions with you.
- Don't be shy about talking about yourself and your interest in the field – this is how your contact will learn about your career goals and aspirations.
- Take a copy of your resume with you just in case your contact asks for it.
- Remember, you are not asking your contact for a job.
- Take notes and listen attentively.
It's a wrap!
Thank your contact for his or her time and ask them if you can stay in touch. Ask them for their preferred method of contact e.g., email, phone, LinkedIn, etc.
- Ask your contact if they can suggest anyone else who would be open to connecting with you.
- After your meeting, send a thank you email – let them know you appreciate and valued the time and advice they shared with you.
- Be sure to also send your contact a personalized request to connect on LinkedIn.
Why not conduct an informational interview with someone in your field today? Join the Centennial Hub on Ten Thousand Coffees to get started!
By Sara Komal, Selim Berbatovci, Sureka Kulasingham