Informational interviews are a valuable tool in conducting a job search, especially when you are either starting or changing careers. They allow you an inside view of a company, a job and a specific industry that is hard to get any other way.
First, an informational interview is specifically NOT a job interview. It involves talking with people who are currently working in the field so you can build a network of contacts and gain an understanding of a particular industry or occupation.
Your target for the interview is someone who is currently doing the kind of job you are seeking, not the manager of Human Resources (unless of course, you are seeking a job in Human Resources). The purpose of this interview is to:
- Clarify your career goals.
- Create and expand your network of contacts in the field – gain visibility.
- Get some great practice in interviewing.
- Identify your own strengths and weaknesses.