Are informational interviews worth the time and effort? The short answer is yes! And if you feel like they aren’t worth it, you might be going about them the wrong way.
The first informational interview I went on was great. We had a great conversation and I learned a lot. But it didn’t lead to a job or even a job interview. The way I saw it, I wasted an hour of both of our times…It’s only now that I realize that if I went into that meeting knowing HOW informational interviews help with the job searching process, I would’ve gotten so much more out of that hour.
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If you’re unsure of what informational interviews are and the purpose behind them, I encourage you to give this blog post a read before continuing to read this one. But if you’re ready to learn how informational interviews impact your job hunt, read on.
5 reasons informational interviews are worth it
1. You get to explore different career paths, job positions, companies, and industries without actually having to work there
This is important because it’s likely that the idea you have in your head about a job is different from what you would experience.
For example, when you think of the job “social media manager” you might think that this person is just creating social media posts for a company. And while that is a part of the job, what you may not realize is that things differ according to the marketing department’s structure. Some social media managers get to do a ton of content creation. While other social media managers are focused more on interpreting data so they can inform the creative team who then creates the content.
So, by having informational interviews with a bunch of social media managers, you’ll get a stronger sense of:
- What a social media manager does
- How tasks differ from company to company
- Why you are interested in becoming a social media manager
Maybe you’ll find that there is a better role suited to you.
Hint: This is exactly why I believe that informational interviews is step number 2 (out of 10) in the job-hunting process. Download the Productive Job-Hunting Game Plan to find out if you are being as efficient as possible in your job hunt.
2. Informational interviews will help you refine what types of companies and industries to apply to
Building off of the last point, let’s say you already know that you want to be a social media manager. What you may not realize is how being a social media manager at one company (let’s say an agency) is a very different experience than being a social media manager at another company (let’s say at a B2C company).
So, by having informational interviews with different social media managers, you’ll get a stronger idea of what kind of company you would want to be a social media manager for. This will help you narrow down your search so you can only apply for social media manager jobs that those types of companies.
3. It’s a great way to grow your network
This person who is meeting up with you for an informational interview is already interested in being a part of your network. So congratulations! By setting up an informational interview, you’ve made the steps to grow your network.
4. You can practice your interview skills
Although this isn’t exactly like a job interview, informational interviews are still a chance for you to practice how you present yourself in a professional setting. And the more practice you have, the easier it will be to walk into a job interview with confidence.
- Further reading: 8 quotes to boost your confidence before interviews
5. It just MIGHT end up helping you find a job
Although I don’t suggest going in with the mindset of trying to squeeze a job out of the person kind of enough to help you figure out your next step, this is a great chance to build a working relationship with someone.
When you are genuinely trying to learn from another person, you might stumble on something you can help them with.
It’s best NOT to go in with the mindset of “I want a job out of this.” But if it happens, it happens!
Now, you know that informational interviews are worth it and how they help your job hunt. The next step is to understand why informational interviews are important to your job hunt. Click here to read the next article on why you should be going on more informational interviews.