Who should you ask your information interview questions?

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Feb 15

Information interviews are great ways to find out what other people do in their jobs to see if that work would interest you as well. Others will also tout the information interview as a job search device where you can find out about jobs through the informational interviews.

Great. The problem is you can’t just casually call up the CEO of a company and ask for an informational interview. So who do you ask?

Here’s the suggestion: look to your business network to ask your informational interview questions. It’s easy — they are already part of your business network so they know you. Plus there are two great advantages of utilizing your business network this way.

You learn about each others work

When you call up someone in your business network and ask for a half hour of time to find out about the work they do, you will learn a lot about what that person does. You are supposed to. But the cool thing about utilizing your business network this way is that through the process you will find more connections between you and the person you are talking with about their job.

Done correctly, they will learn about what you do as well. “Oh, we do that this way…pretty similar, right?” Well, if it is, that helps solidify the commonality — or differences — in what each of you do. That’s valuable knowledge to have.

You learn how to help the other person

One of the subjects of your informational interview should cover issues that person has with the work. Every job has something that goes wrong at some point and you should know what types of things happen when the job is tough.

The beauty of this? Perhaps the very problems being described to you can be helped by what or who you know. That helps the person in your business network, something you would never have found out about without doing the informational interview.

The problem?

Most people don’t have a big enough business network to have a wide range of job experiences to go and find out about others work.

How many different types of jobs do the people in your business network have? If everyone does programming in your business network, it will be tough to get an informational interview about how to do project management, don’t you think?

Do you have a big enough business network to find interesting jobs?


About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

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