There is a good chance that someone asking you for an informational interview is at least partly interested in working for your company at some point in the future. Therefore, it makes sense for the interviewer to ask, “If I wanted to obtain a job here, what would be the best way to learn of job vacancies”
Informational interviews are different from regular job interviews. The former is just a prospective employee trying to gather information about a specific line of work to see if he or she would be interested in switching careers. It is not meant to be an opportunity to get an actual job at that point in time, but it is acceptable in certain situations for interviewers to ask about how they would go about finding vacant positions when the right time comes up.
Points to Emphasize
As a professional in your line of work, you should be at least partially aware of how the company goes about finding new employees.
- Answer the question to the best of your ability
- Discuss multiple avenues to finding vacancies
- Emphasize the need to have a solid resume and cover letter
- If needed, bring up examples of how other people have found job vacancies
This question can be extremely beneficial to people who may have a limited knowledge of where to look for job openings.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There is no real wrong way to answer this question. Just watch out for these simple errors.
- Don’t avoid answering the question
- Don’t say, “I don’t know”
- Don’t feel the need to mention any openings available at this time
- Don’t refuse a resume if the interviewer gives it to you at the end of the interview
Leaving a resume with the employer is perfectly acceptable at the end of an informational interview since it can be good to have a solid applicant’s resume on file just in case you need it in the future.
Answering a question about future job openings should go something along the lines of:
First, you need to make sure your resume and cover letter are up-to-date and solid. We tend to post job vacancies on Career Builders or Craigslist although we tend to promote from within. You should also feel free to contact the department you are interested in directly to see if they have anything available.
Informational interviews can be crucial to helping a potential employee figure out what career path to take, so it makes sense to let your interviewer know about all the various ways to discover new job opportunities.