Four Ways to Ask for an Informational Interview

job interviewWhether or not you’re pounding the pavement for a new job, expanding your network and asking for an informational interview is always a good move.

You’ll not only have key conversations about areas you want to pursue, you’ll simultaneously get a foot in the door by making that face-to-face connection. According to The Daily Muse, there are a few ways to make this happen.

1. Ask for help. Seriously. This is one of the fastest way to get ahead. Plus, people typically like helping for other people so if you ask for help, others will likely rise to the occasion. You can start by saying, “I hope you’ll be able to help me out.”

2. Be very clear. In your ask, be very specific. Make it easy for the other person to say yes. The piece suggests saying something like, “I’d love to take you to a quick coffee so I can hear your perspective on this industry and what it’s like to work at your company. I’ll actually be in your area next week and would be happy to meet you wherever is convenient for you.”

3. Have a hook. Demonstrate why you really want to speak to this person. Is it because you admire his or her career path? Do you have a shared connection? Don’t refrain as to why you’re looking to connect with this person. Personalize the request and make the person feel special as to why you are genuinely interested in connecting.

4. Be considerate. By the very nature of an informational interview, you’re asking for someone’s valuable time and insight. Don’t be late to the meeting and certainly don’t attempt to meet for two hours. You can preface it by saying, “I can only imagine how busy you must get, so even 15-20 minutes would be so appreciated.”

Lastly, as you ask your new contact for a meeting, be specific in wanting to learn more about the industry, company and their job itself. In other words, don’t make it look like you’re searching for a new job. That can easily shut a conversation down before it has started. After you meet and make an indelible first impression, you can mention after the fact that oh, by the way, you also happen to be on the hunt.

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