Take a few minutes after the interview to write down your thoughts and impressions, recording as much of the information as you can remember, including the small details. Also, think of questions you still want answered, or new questions you have as a result of the interview, even if you don’t know yet who can answer those questions.
Within 24 hours of your informational interview, write a thank you note to the person you interviewed.
And, be sure to keep them informed of your progress. Report back if you’ve followed up on any of their suggestions or recommendations. If they offered to do something for you, provide a gentle reminder in the thank you note. (“Thank you for your offer to introduce me to ___. I look forward to meeting him/her!”) And if you’ve offered to do something for them, make sure you follow through!
A few other points to remember:
- Prepare for the meeting. Don’t waste the time you’ve been given.
- Make it convenient for the person you’re interviewing. Choose a time and place that works for them. Remember, they are doing you a favor. If you meet in person, pick up the tab for their meal or drink.
- Be prepared to answer questions too. For example, “Why do you want to work in this field/for this company?”
- Be on time. Arrive 5-10 minutes early. End the interview when you promised to. If you asked for 15 minutes, only take 15 minutes. Respect the person’s time. If the person offers to extend the meeting, you can go on longer, but otherwise, keep to the agreed-upon time.
- Dress appropriately. In most instances, this will be business attire.
- Be sure you know the correct pronunciation and spelling of the person’s name you’re meeting with. If you don’t have all their contact information (which you will need to send the thank you note), ask for their business card.
- Say thank you. Also, ask the person if there is something you can do for them in appreciation for their time in meeting with you. (“Is there something I can help you with?”)
- Don’t leave them wondering what happened to you. Keep in touch, even if it’s sending an email as your job search progresses. And when you land your dream job, send another thank you note!
- Pay it forward. If you’ve been helped by someone, remember that and give back when it’s your turn to do someone a favor.
Enlisting the help of others through informational interviews can be one of the best ways to move your job search forward and/or accomplish a career change. Research and relationship-building leading to one or more informational interviews can give you a significant advantage over other job applicants and help you secure your dream job.
Note: This blog post only touches on certain aspects of this topic and is not a comprehensive list. This blog post is an educational and informational resource for job seekers and is not a substitute for working with a resume writer or other professional. See our Terms and Conditions for additional information.