Tis the Season…for Informational Interviews

As in years past, the requests for informational interviews start arriving right around Thanksgiving.  College kids, eager to take their classroom experiences into the workplace, are reaching out and asking to learn more about the agency and my career path, all with the hope that there might be an opportunity to join our team as an intern.

There are also those that are seeking a new opportunity or are considering re-careering to public relations and marketing communications.

I almost always say yes, especially if the request comes with a little forethought and consideration for my time.  (In other words, not the day before you have a homework assignment to interview a professional).

I shared some tips in a post earlier this year that are still relevant.

A few other pointers gleaned from the recent conversations:

  • It is always good to do your homework before jumping on the call. Mention what you have learned, offer some insight or ideas based on what you learned. It shows you did more than glance at a blog post headline.
  • Be ready to follow-up with an updated resume and a portfolio of work samples that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. For college students, I’m ok if it is work you did for class.  For those seeking new opportunities, let me see some actual work.  But more importantly, tell me if it worked and how you measured success.  (You can keep the specifics confidential; I’m looking for how you think). If you are a re-careerer, help me understand why your skill set is applicable to my workplace.
  • Remember this is intended as an informational interview, so don’t be disappointed if there isn’t talk of career opportunities. But always approach the conversation as though there is a job on the line.
  • And it bears repeating…send a thank you note. Trust me when I say that it goes a long way in keeping you top-of-mind. And use it to share any additional information you might not have told me while we were chatting.
  • Don’t be afraid to follow-up. Again, there might not be a job opportunity at the time of the first call, but a few weeks from now things can change.
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at Dec 7, 2023

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