Jasmine is a community social worker.Lately, she feels dissatisfied with her job and is thinking of a career change.

She visits a career counselor to discuss her desire for a career change. They talk about what she values in her career. They decide she should connect with a social policy analyst for aninformational interview to gain valuable insights into the profession.

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What is an informational interview?

An informational interview is a 20-30 minute informal conversation with someone who works in a career of interest to you. To learn more about the purpose of an informational interview, take a look at this Byte: Understand the Role of Informational Interviews

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Find the Right People

Securing an informational interview isn't as hard as you think. However, finding the right people to talk to can be a challenge.

Begin with your professional network to help you connect to a specific person at a company. If your network is limited, try these tips to secure your next informational interview:

  1. Make a list of companies you’d love to work at, as well as job titles or positions you’d be interested in

  2. Use a professional network website (eg. LinkedIn) to search for the company and job title

  3. Reach out to an appropriate match via LinkedIn or email

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Jasmine wants to secure an informational interview with a social policy analyst. Jasmine is connected to Mia, a contact on LinkedIn, who is friends with Paul, a social policy analyst. Which introduction will help Jasmine secure an interview?

Asking for an Informational Interview

Many professionals appreciate being asked to assist others seeking guidance in their industry. Whether you send a direct message or email, politely and clearly state why you’re reaching out and the action you want the recipient to take.

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The Hook

Your recipient likely receives many messages. You want to be sure they don't delete your email or direct message. Try these tips to ensure your message is opened!

Flaticon Icon Subject line

Marco Rivera recommended I contact you about...

I enjoyed your article in Business Journal!

Great meeting you at TedTalks!

Flaticon Icon Describe yourself (1-2 sentences)

  • Any connections you have in common with the contact

  • Where you went to college/university, 

  • Your current/previous jobs

  • Where you live

The Ask

Write a concise, personalized request.

Flaticon Icon Explain how you found them (1-2 sentences). For example:

Marco, a longtime colleague, spoke highly about your...

I found your contact information on [LinkedIn, company website, etc.] and thought your career path closely aligned with my goals.

It was so nice meeting you at [place/event]. I’d like to chat more about your role at...

Flaticon Icon

Directly ask for help (2 sentences)

I was hoping we could meet [online/in-person] for [time] to chat about…

  • ...how you got into the field and common entry-level jobs steps you would recommend I take to prepare to enter this field.

  • ...the skills, abilities, and personal attributes essential to success in your job/this field.

The Conclusion

Conclude your request with a polite invitation to meet at a convenient time.

I have some free time next Wednesday or Thursday, if any of those options are convenient for you. I would be open to chatting on the phone. Thank you in advance.

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Take Action

It's your turn to secure an informational interview...and get a yes!

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