Informational Interview 101

Looking for your next career move but have no idea what it should be? Curious to expand your horizons with no commitment? I am a huge fan of informational interviews, because you can get no-pressure insight from people with experience. This blog post is a really great guide to a successful informational interview.

Who should you interview? I have a few tactics that you can learn in my Brainery class, but one of my favorites is this:

  • Make 5 columns on a sheet of paper (portrait orientation). The header for each column should be someone you know very well (ie best friend, professor, professional mentor, parent, cousin, sports coach, etc.).
  • Under each name, write 10 people that they know that you have either never met or have only ever met casually. You do not need to know their name; it could just be their connection (ie her cousin with the glasses, coworker (dave or dan?), guy at coffee shop she talks to every day). 
  • You now have 50 names in addition to the 5 you started with. Circle 6. Make a point to connect with those 6 in the next month.

Good luck! Do report any informational interview successes or ask any questions!

[UPDATE: 9/25/2013: it appears that the original link is broken, but here’s a new great post on Informational Interviews via Idealist]

Informational Interview 101

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