by Marianne Lipa, Career Advisor
As the mid-point of the summer has passed, it’s the perfect time to think about ways to connect with people to learn about their careers, organizations, positions, and gain useful information in your future job and internship searches. If you are currently interning this summer, reflect on how the internship provides practice, experience, training, and skills. Informational interviews are conversations that provide an opportunity to gather information, establish connections, and allow you to share information about yourself in order to achieve your career goals. Some key tips to remember:
- Reach out to potential contacts via email. In the email, remember to explain how you found their name (both LinkedIn and Quakernet are valuable resources for finding alumni), introduce yourself, and ask if you could schedule a time to speak with them about their career path.
- Come prepared with questions to ask during the informational interview/conversation! Check out this list of: sample informational interview questions
- Informational interviews focus on various topics such as:
- Preparing for a career in this field
- Particular organization/company the person works for
- The person’s current job
- The person’s future career goals/steps
- Prior experience and preparation
- Factors taken into consideration for hiring decisions
- Referral to other contacts
- It’s important that you do NOT ask for a job/internship. You are welcome to mention that you are conducting a job/internship search by asking general questions and seeking advice about how to best approach the process.
- When setting up the informational interview, plan to allocate no more than 30 minutes. Remember that they are busy individuals offering to share their time and expertise with you so it’s important to be respectful of their time.
- Lastly, always send a thank you email to your contact. This allows you to show your appreciation and they might be able to assist you in the future especially if an opportunity arises at their particular company or if they know of another opportunity within their network of contacts.
Feel free to further discuss informational interviewing with an advisor in Career Services. We’re happy to help you, and enjoy the rest of your summer!