#Interview

Tag: #Interview

FAQs about Informational Interviewing

The phrase “informational interviews” might sound intimidating, but really they’re just conversations you arrange with people who work in the field you’re interested in. Informational interviews are a quick and easy way to explore potential career pathways and solicit advice from professionals in the field. In addition, when you set up informational interviews with people in your field of interest, you’re building a network that you can utilize later — for job opportunities, shadowing opportunities when COVID restrictions lessen, and more.

Some FAQs about Informational Interviewing

Q: When should I start conducting informational interviews?
A: It’s never too late or too early to start! You can coordinate informational interviews throughout your college career, and well into your career beyond college! Your questions will likely shift as your personal goals and interests change over time.

Q: How should I prepare for the interview?
A: The primary goal is to come ready to drive the interview with your questions. Make sure you have your questions ready, and try to focus your questions on gathering insights and advice; you don’t want them to feel like you’re expecting a job offer. It’s also helpful to do some internet research on the person you’re interviewing to help guide your question development. Be ready to talk about yourself if asked, too! Business casual is the typical attire for informational interviews.

Q: How and where should I expect the informational interview to happen?A: Over the phone or using video chat is often the easiest, especially during the pandemic. Reach out to your intended interviewee and plan on your conversation going for about 30 minutes. Make sure to be respectful of their time — they’re doing you a favor, so be careful not to go over the allotted time.

Q: Speaking of reaching out: Help! How do I do that?
A: Find the contact information of the person you’re interested in interviewing, and send them an email. In your message, you should introduce yourself and express your interest in their field. If you have a personal or Lawrence-related connection to them, or were recommended to seek them out by a mutual acquaintance, make sure to mention that. Then, indicate that you are reaching out to ask about their availability for a short informational interview to learn more about their professional journey. The Viking Connect website is a great way to find alumni Lawrentians who are eager to connect with current students!

“Thank you for the interview opportunity!” How to follow up after interviews and write thank you notes

Following up after job interviews and writing them a quick “thank you” note after the end is a good way to ensure that you still remain in the interviewer’s mind and demonstrate your interest in the role. You should also follow up with a “thank you” note after networking conversations/informational interviews, as they are a great way to show your appreciation and strengthen your existing connections. But how does one write a good “thank you” note?
There is no single right way to pull it off but some general conventions still apply when writing thank you notes following a job or informational interview. When sending a note, be sure to:

  • Send the thank you/follow-up email to the interviewer within 24 hours of the interview. Hiring processes can be done quickly, so hand written cards to follow up on job interviews might not be feasible. However, for informational interviews, sending a written thank you note within a week is a good way to stand out and show your extra appreciation (this can be done in addition to the 24-hour email).
  • Refer to when the interview occurred.
  • Refer to important parts of your conversation with them, such as highlighting a specific piece of advice that resonated with you.
  • For job interviews, reaffirm your interest in the position and why the interview made you even more interested in that position.
  • End with an invitation for further follow up.

Here’s an example format of email to guide you:
Subject: Thank you for the interview opportunity

Dear Mr./Ms./Mx. [Interviewer’s Last Name],
Thank you for speaking with me yesterday about my interest in the [job position you are applying for] role at [organization name]. I sincerely appreciate the time you to took to explain the position and all that it would entail.


I enjoyed our discussion on [add specific references to the conversation]. It only further reaffirmed my interest in the position, as it [explanation of why you are interested in this position]. I am confident that my prior experiences have prepared me to jump right into the role, especially [very brief explanation of why you think you are qualified for the job].


Thank you again for your consideration and for providing me the opportunity to meet with you and your team. Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide as you move forward in the hiring process.
Sincerely,
[Name]


You can find examples here and find more here. If needed, the Career Center has thank you cards available for your use. And, as always, if you need help writing a follow-up note or anything else, you can always make an appointment there!


Raisa Fatima ’23, Career Peer Educator