Welcome back from the weekend, everyone! We hope that you feel rejuvenated, excited for a new week, and refreshed (especially in the midwest) by our Winter which is seemingly a relative Spring. I mean really, I’ve seen just a few days of snow so far entirely! Nonetheless, I know many of us are finding comfort in our homes and somewhat ‘hibernating’ throughout the cooler winter months. So, with the extra time you have indoors, there is no better opportunity than right now to conduct informational interviews and expand your knowledge of different business industries. Keep reading to find out how to derive the most value out of informational interviews…
Let’s… Connect! Conduct your Informational Calls by Following the below steps…
- Preparation and Purpose: Before engaging in information phone calls, it’s crucial to conduct a quick search on the person’s background, and a light gauge of their current work so as to avoid taking a large portion of time dedicated solely to introductions. Make sure to prepare specific questions relating to their career trajectory, project success, company experiences, etc. If you could ask your prepared questions to anyone, that’s a sign that they are not meaningful enough for the person you’re speaking with.
- Ask Specific Questions: As it relates to our point above, you should not be asking questions like, “How’d you get here?” or “So, what do you do?” If you’ve initiated a chat, it is likely for a specific purpose to learn more about a role. For example, if you’re speaking to someone on the public relations side of the business, focus questions around, “How have you handled our company’s relationship with X topic/company/etc.? How much of your time do you spend avoiding negative PR vs creating positive PR?” Always make the employee feel valued! After all, they dedicated a portion of their day specifically to you.
- Thank Them for their Time! Always always always make sure to express gratitude to the person for taking up a part of their day to speak with you. Thank the person for discussing their role, opening up about a certain topic, offering advice or direction, etc. We also encourage you to follow up with a thank you note or email to wrap up the chat in a kind way.
- Extra Tip: If you feel that the chat was particularly successful, the end of the call is a fantastic time to request if the person you’re speaking to has other colleagues, business partners, teammates, mentors, and employees at a said company that they recommend you speak with. This is a great way to continue getting your foot in the door and to increase your reach at a potential dream role/job. So, make sure to gauge the level of connection between yourself and the person you’re speaking to, and capitalize on the moment at hand!
- Maintain the Relationship: A coffee chat might be a periodic occurrence, but communication should not be. Make sure to maintain the relationships that you’ve worked to schedule and cultivate! Whether this means a weekly check-in, an email update of your accomplishments quarterly, or a quick link to a relevant article, make sure to keep in contact and follow up after your thank you note!
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