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Know What to Say on a Job Interview

Informational Interview

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On the opposite end of the stress spectrum from screening interviews is the informational interview. The informational interview is underutilized by job-seekers who might otherwise consider themselves savvy to the merits of networking.

Job seekers arrange informational interviews in order to seek career advice from someone already working in their current or desired fields, as well as to gain further references to people who can also lend insight.

Employers who like to stay apprised of available talent even when they do not have current job openings, are often open to informational interviews.

That's especially true when they like to share knowledge, feel flattered by your interest or place particular esteem on the mutual friends or associates that connected you to them.

During an informational interview, the job seeker and employer exchange information and get to know one another better, but not for a specific job opening. (However, it might lead to a job down the road.) This relieves some of the performance pressure of other interview types. But, be intentional and on your best behavior nevertheless.

Below are quick tips for getting the most out of informational interviews. See Informational Interviews in the Career Networking Center for more tips.

  • Come prepared with thoughtful questions about the field and the company.
  • Ask for references to other people. Make sure that the interviewer would be comfortable if you contact them and use his or her name.
  • Give the interviewer your card or contact information and resume.

Send a thank you note to each of your informational interviewers.

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For sample interview questions and tips for navigating other interview types not listed above (such as technical interviews), start at Interviews.

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Know What to Say on a Job Interview
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