By Jess Hofberger for Career Brief Blog.
Job Seekers, Winter Break is a great time for informational interviews. Here is the challenging part: you have to ask for them.
If you meet someone at a party or event, don’t be afraid to ask. “Your career (or firm) sounds very interesting. Do you have time this week to grab a cup of coffee or a soda and tell me more about what you do?”
Tips for meeting people over beverages:
- Make it convenient for that person. Scout out coffee locations near the person’s office.
- Whoever does the inviting pays. If you invite someone to coffee, allow that person to order first, then place your order and pay the bill. (Or ideally, offer to go to that person’s workplace.)
- Give a time limit in advance – “Could we meet for 20-30 minutes? I want to be respectful of your time.”
- Prepare – research the person’s background and organization. Write out some quality questions in advance. Ideally, you won’t have to look at this list, but if you freeze, you have a backup.
- “Informational interview” means you are there to listen. Make sure you listen more than you talk.
- Confirm the meeting either the night before or the day of by email.
- Follow up with an email and a hand-written or type-written thank you note.
What are you waiting for? Get out there.
I’d like to credit the Culture and Manners Institute at http://www.cultureandmanners.com/ for ideas in this post.