How Informational Interviews Can Boost Your Career

Posted on
girl in yellow top talking at table with boy in striped shirt

One of the best ways to explore a career field you’re interested in is to ask someone with first-hand experience. Informational interviews can boost your career and help you discover a career path that fits your interests and personality. Learn more about the benefits of informational interviews and the positive impact they can have on your job hunt.

 

Practice your interviewing skills

One of the many topics Braven covers in our accelerator course is how to prepare for and ace an interview. While our mock interviews prepare you with the skills to succeed in real-life job interviews, informational interviews can help boost your confidence when explaining your career goals in a setting with less pressure. Think of it as a light warm up to your next real job interview down the road.

 

Get your foot in the door

Imagine the person you’re meeting with works at your dream company or is in the career field you’re interested in and the meeting goes well — you connect on similar interests and share the same passions outside of work. You both stay in touch and a few months later, you come across a job posting at their company.

The fact that you already know them and have built a relationship with them works in your favor. This is where the “it’s who you know” comes into play. Your likelihood of landing a job with a cold application is 1 in 152 — that goes down to 1 in 16 with a referral.

 

Gain insight into a specific career field

Informational interviews are extremely helpful if you haven’t had an internship yet or if you’re simply hoping to switch majors. Meeting with professionals in roles you’re interested in is a great way to gain insight into a specific career field. You’ll be surprised by how many people are happy to share their experiences and the knowledge they’ve gained — you may even discover that a particular field or company may not be the best fit for you. Always prepare a list of questions for your informational interview and take notes.

 

Expand your network

Begin building your network of professional contacts. Informational interviews can bloom out of LinkedIn messages, networking events, and even small encounters at your local grocery store. By meeting with multiple professionals from different companies, you’ll expand your network and maybe even find a potential mentor. Mentors can offer you guidance, advice, and feedback throughout your job search.

Always, always, always follow up to your informational interview with a thank you note. Check out this thank you note from The Muse — be sure to customize it and make it your own!

 

With school coming to an end and winter break right around the corner, there’s no better time for meeting with someone over coffee to learn more about their career. Reach out over LinkedIn and plan some coffee meetings!