Another Use for Informational Interviews
Phillip Levine of “Ask The Expert” suggests that people who have been out looking for jobs and have become so fearful of getting a “no” that they actually become paralyzed can benefit from informational interviewing.
Informational interviews enable job-seekers to get in front of employers and regain self-confidence as well. Levine notes that with informational interviewing you can’t be rejected but you can learn a great deal.
He tells this story: “Caroline, a computer programmer client of mine had reached the stage where she was going for interviews and expecting a ‘no.’ As a matter of fact, she was now avoiding interviews if possible. She was becoming gun-shy. Forcing her out to further interviews was not the answer. The rejections were affecting her personal self-confidence and self-esteem. This is a situation in which job seekers become frustrated and continue to heap more pressure on themselves for interviews — and the more pressure they feel the less well they perform. It becomes a terrible spiral.
“Caroline had to break out of this and so I suggested informational interviewing. It was a method to stay in front of employers yet take the pressure off. Instead of a strict and formal job interview she was now seeking informal discussions with employers regarding job, company details and the types of people an employer looks for. This process was helpful, to keep her moving forward.
“She was actually gaining more information, but in a very relaxed manner. Instead of asking for a job in which case she might receive a rejection, she was only seeking information about jobs. As a matter of fact, she was doing more of the questioning and the employer was doing the answering. (If there was a job possibility she could always go back later and formally apply.)
“The process didn’t directly result in a job for Caroline, but her self-confidence returned. She gained contacts, which eventually turned into decent job leads.”
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