Networking and Informational Interviews
The Benefits of Informational Interviewing
Informational interviewing may sound intimidating, but it is a useful tool if you are seeking employment, want to learn more about a field, and want to expand your network. Conducting an informational interview means that you reach out to and speak with professionals who are currently working in a career, industry, or environment that interests you. You can then determine if that career would be a good match based on your values, skills, interests and abilities. Generally, informational interviewing is a good option if you are looking for employment and want to learn more about a company, or if you are considering a career change.
Tips for Networking Success
Building a network of professional contacts can help you discover new employment opportunities as well as trends and best practices in your field. It is important to understand that networking is a multi-way street, where members of the network help each other. Remember:
- You already have a great network through your life experience. Friends, family, neighbors, professors, and colleagues are all great sources of information. (You can also gain new contacts through informational interviews.)
- Check with your individual school within the University of Hartford and join their LinkedIn Group.
- Be prepared. Before contacting anyone, research the industry.
- Be professional in all of your emails, phone calls, and in-person contacts.
- When a new contact responds to you, get back to them quickly.
- Send a thank you note to each person you speak with within 24-48 hours.
Why use Informational Interviewing / Networking?
- Explore different career paths to assist you in your career planning
- Find out about the skills, qualifications and education you need to pursue specific fields
- Learn about job opportunities
- Expand your base of professional contacts
- Improve your interview skills