The term informational interview sends the wrong message! Even worse, only job seekers ask for them! So can we make a deal. If you are serious about your career, stop asking for informational interviews and position your request differently!
How Do Employed People Do It?
If you were employed, would you email a complete stranger and ask to learn more about their company? I really don’t think so.
It’s not as if these meetings don’t occur, they do! But the meetings are just that- meetings, coffee, get-togethers, chats. They are informal conversations to learn and share mutually beneficial information! And it starts by having something in common.
Warm Up To People Before Asking for A Meeting
I get it! You are in a hurry to find your next job, but please slow down and build the relationship before asking for a meeting.
Find a point of commonality. It could be you both went to the same college or maybe you share a common interest.
It is your responsibility to find and use that commonality to begin building the relationship. The payoff? I think you’ll be much more likely to get the meeting when you ask for it if you’ve established your relationship in a non-threatening/needy way online first. Not only that, during the meeting, you are much more likely to get valuable information.
Think about it. If you didn’t know me, and I asked how your company was doing, would you give me the inside scoop or would you just give me the corporate line?!
Building Relationships Through Trust, Cooperation and Exchange offers more insight on this “trust” concept.
If You Hear These Responses You Are Doing It All Wrong
If you ask for an informational interview and someone says any of these things, you have probably failed to build a foundation for the relationship!
You should really be talking to HR…
We don’t have any openings right now…
I’m not the right person to talk to…
I’m too busy to meet with you…
You can read Don’t Take No For An Answer for more help with overcoming objections!
And don’t ask for a favor- here’s why.
How To Get The Meeting
Expanding your connections and building relationships happens over time.
If you are looking for ways to do both, you’ll need a long-term mindset and a clear and sincere message!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.