Boring, you can’t bear another day going into your job. You thought you were a salesman but hate cold calls. Graduation day is approaching and you don’t know what to do. Now is the time to set up some Information Interviews.
An Information Interview is just what its name implies. It is a way for you to find out information about different types of jobs and companies.
Your first step is to:
- Make a list of companies and jobs you think you might like.
- Research these companies and job types, both through their webpages and through job search engines like Workopolis and Monster.
- Make a list of questions about the companies and the different positions they have
Networking is your next step:
- Ask people you know who work for these companies if they could recommend someone you could go and talk to about the company and types of jobs
- Look around your community. If you are thinking about banking then the bank manager is a great person to talk to or he/she may be able to recommend someone in head office that would be helpful
- Sports teams and gyms are great places to network. Right away you have something in common so ask them who they work for and how they got started.
- Coffee shops, if there is a specific company you are interested in, yes go and hang around the closest coffee shop to their office. Strike up a conversation
- LinkedIn is a great place to find people who work for specific companies. Ask to connect with them and then follow their updates. LinkedIn Groups are also a great way to find out about different things that are going on in your field and to connect with people with the same interests.
It is important to remember that this is an Information Interview not a Job Interview. So you are the one asking the questions, you are in control. Break your interview into 4 parts:
- A brief introduction of yourself: your education, your achievements and your interests. This gives the person you are interviewing an idea of your skills and how they will relate to different positions in their company. Explain to them you are trying to get into a new field or have just graduated. Tell him “I really don’t like doing cold calls”, “I love working with numbers”, “I have a real interest in people”, etc.
- Next would come questions about the company: trends, challenges, organization, etc.
- Specifics about particular jobs will be the most detailed part of the interview:
- what training is required
- what type of things would be done in a typical day
- what do you enjoy most/least about your job
4. Finally a thank you for their time and ask if they can recommend/refer anyone that may be able to help you in your job search/analysis
This person is doing you a favour so remember:
- Be punctual
- Be prepared
- Be polite
- Bring a resume but DO NOT give it to them unless they ask you for one.
- Dress professionally
- Don’t waste their time
Finally as with anything in life, this person has done you a service and set aside some of their time to help you so remember to send a Thank You Note as soon as possible after the interview. And don’t forget to add them to your network on your social media sites.