The importance of networking is now well established. Indeed, it may be the most effective way of finding a job. And one good way to expand your network is through the informational interview.
The important thing to understand about an informational interview is that it is not a job interview. As the name implies, the purpose of the meeting is to gather information only. You as a job seeker must understand that, and you need to make that clear to whomever you want to talk to. Nonetheless, an informational interview can be a valuable tool in your job search. Here is why.
1. Getting to know a particular company
If you have a certain company in mind where you would like to work, an informational interview can help you to learn more about the place, its people and its culture. It can help you to make a decision about whether it is right for you.
Since the informational interview is more informal and casual than the real thing, you can talk more freely and openly about the company and raise issues or questions you might not feel comfortable doing at a real job interview. This might give you an opportunity to learn things about the company that are not publicly available.
However, you should still research the company before going to the interview. If you don’t know much about the place when talking to a company representative, you certainly won’t make a very good impression.
2. Discovering any future openings
Even though you are not interviewing for a job, you can certainly ask about possible openings in the future. You can get an idea about what job openings there will be and what skills the company is looking for.
As mentioned, an informational interview is an excellent opportunity to get know people, to expand your list of contacts, and to meet people in your field of work. While at the interview, you can ask the person about other people you should talk to at his company or at other similar companies. Make sure to get his or her business card before you leave. And, as with any interview, send a thank you note afterward.
If you are looking for work in the Anchorage area, Opti Staffing can help find a job that fits your skills and experience. Opti is one of the leading staffing firms in the region, with a broad knowledge of the job market and a large network of employers. Give us a call today