Posted By: Kristen Brownholtz

There may come a time when you are not actively seeking a new job, but you would still like to learn more about a company, a particular job or position; or meet a particular person.  Consider arranging an informational interview.

An informational interview is an informal one-on-one meeting, with someone from whom you want to learn more. It is also a way to make an impression on someone you may want to work for or with in the future. It can be with a person you have met before or the colleague of a friend or another personal connection. You may end up reaching out to someone you have never met.

When asking for an informational interview, however, keep a few things in mind:
  • Make sure you acknowledge that you are trying to learn something new, want more information about a company and its work or maybe you’re considering a certain career path;
  • Be very clear about what you’re asking for, for example: “I have a few questions about the working as a financial analyst at your company. Could I take you for cup of coffee at a time that is convenient for you? I’ll be in your area on this date.”
  • Include a personal connection if you can. Do you have a mutual friend/colleague; a shared connection? Did you meet at a networking or similar event or did you see the person mentioned in a recent publication?
  • Make sure you express your appreciation for the person who makes time – even 15 minutes – in his/her busy schedule to meet with you, and send a note of thanks.

Remember, don’t act like you’re job hunting. It’s called an “informational” for a reason.  By taking the initiative and making a good impression, you are positioning yourself for a potential job interview in the future.

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