Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Giving an Informational Interview Today

I don't know how it happened, but somehow I became the official informational-interview go-to girl at JIST. An informational interview is when a job seeker or career explorer requests a meeting with someone in their target field, just to get information and advice, despite the fact that there is no job opening. Because so many of our books tell people to go out and set up these interviews, and because they are really helpful to people, I never felt like I could turn anyone down when they asked for one.

For a while after I started this blog, though, I was telling people to just go read it and then contact me again if they had further questions. Being an introvert, it was nice to be able to avoid meeting strangers and taking time out of my day.

But I've agreed to meet someone today at 11. I don't even know the person who referred her to me. She found me in a roundabout way through LinkedIn. But she seems very nice and I am happy to try to help her.

I'm in a weird position, though, because I read so many books about how to conduct these interviews (from the job seeker's perspective). I feel like I have an unfair advantage. Do I go ahead and hit her up with sports agent Molly Fletcher's key interview question: "Who are you and what do you want?"

I don't have to prep too much for this beyond reading her resume ahead of time (most books tell you not to send a resume, but I always request one because it helps me know the person and figure out how to advise him or her). I am trying to do some neglected filing and recycling so that she doesn't think I work in a dumpster with a window. And I managed to put on makeup today. But no pantyhose--not on a 90-degree July day.


publishingcareer said...

I like this idea. I haven't heard of this approach before. Needless to say I will try it out!
Thanks Lori.

Lori Cates Hand said...

Glad to be of help. See here for more tips on how to do these types of interviews the right way: