I am currently trying to follow the advice of career-planning and job-hunting
books regarding how to find a job — by networking conducting informational interviews and sending the word out to as many people as possible that I
am looking for a job or that I would like to ask them questions about their
career fields. While I have had some success in getting interviews and
getting some information the sad fact that the books never prepared me
for is dealing with REJECTION. Not rejection by prospective employers
since I haven’t started applying yet but rejection from people I ask for
information and who tell me that I need to know what I want. Or the feeling
that I just made a bad impression by the act of asking questions and
showing my ignorance — yet isn’t that why I am asking questions
because I am ignorant and I am seeking information? What should I be doing?
The Career Doctor responds:
Let me first begin by saying rejection is part of all aspects of job-hunting.
Job-seekers need to develop a bit of a thick skin to deal with it. That said
rejection should really not be a big part of the informational interview process.
Most people like to share their knowledge and expertise with others.
Informational interviews are about spending time with someone in higher up in
your career field (or potential career field) in a highly focused conversation that
provides you with key information you need to launch or boost your career.
I think your problem is you are going about the informational interviewing process
all wrong. You shouldn’t just randomly ask people for an interview. Nor should
you ask really obvious questions in the interview.
It’s the job-seeker’s obligation to be prepared — to conduct research and have a
working knowledge of the career field and about the person you are interviewing.
Remember that your goal in an informational interview is to glean advanced
knowledge from the person you are interviewing to build rapport and a relationship
– and ideally add that person to your network of contacts.
Learn more in the Informational
Interviewing Tutorial found on Quintessential Careers.