So, you think you’ve nailed down what you want to do for your career. Where do you go next? Before sending out resume after resume, you want to make sure that you’ve started down the right path for you by delving deep within yourself. Finding out more about where you want to work is crucial to figuring out what’s best for you. To get a clear picture of what working at your potential company would be like from day to day, you need to conduct an information interview.
This type of interview is different than your typical meeting because, this time, you are actually the one asking the questions. When initiating an information interview, you start by contacting someone who works at your prospective company to see if they would be willing to answer some questions about what it’s like to work there. Their answers help to give you the clarity that you need to gauge their corporate culture, their office politics and just the day-to-day job in general.
Finding the right person to interview is one of the most important aspects of conducting this type of interview. You want someone who has been performing the same type of job that you would eventually like to have to give you the best idea of what you would be doing at the company. Other good qualifications to look for are their length of time spent with the company, their willingness to help and their overall personality. Choosing someone who is friendly and outgoing enough to give you all the necessary details without making it too personal will help make your interview what it should be.
You can’t hold a great interview without being properly prepared with well-written questions. Taking a notebook into the meeting with a pen to keep track of things that are said and to remind you of things you wanted to ask is always a good idea. Some sample ideas to get you started include:
While these are just a small sampling of the questions that you could ask during your information interview, it’s important that you ask that ones that would be most applicable to you and your situation. Once the meeting has concluded, thank the person profusely for taking time out of his or her busy schedule to answer questions about their job and, of course, don’t forget to send a thank you note after. Going through an information interview is the best possible scenario when looking to glean information about a potential career choice. Use these tips and questions to make sure that yours goes as smoothly as possible.