Guide to Informational Interviews: A Success Story
I’ve had LinkedIn for approximately 6 years, but only in the last month have I become actively engaged through posting content associated with my goals, successes, concerns, and sharing content posted by others. This led to a 269% increase in my network in just 1 month (100 to 369 connections). Most of these have been initiated by recruiters and movers/shakers in the LinkedIn and business community. I had thought I hit the jackpot, learned the secret for LinkedIn network building. Little did I know, informational interviews was the real prize, and would result in enormous growth.
Reaching Out For Support
When I first became active on LinkedIn, my first mentor was Tom Cal and he persisted in me learning about the 2-hour Job Search and what an informational interview was/how to properly execute one. To be honest, my initial reaction was one of skepticism. I believed he was just pedaling a book for his friend’s financial gain. Well he sent me a short video interview that the author Steve Dalton gave, and it peaked my curiosity. 10 dollars later, with the book in hand, my career search took on a whole different level of success.
And Gathering Information
I’ve been using the informational interviews almost every day and with multiple people! I’ve used it to find out about differing career choices in the marketing space, learning about the benefits of a Syracuse University Whitman School of Management MBA (which I was just accepted into!! Sorry shameless pat on the back). The informational interview has also enabled me to discuss with alumni, opportunities in the Atlanta area and I’ve gained many quality mentors out of it, namely Jarod Myers, MBA; Chaunte Myers, MPA; and Leslie Coffey, MBA.
Bringing It All Together
A key takeaway is that an informational interview is not a job pitch! Do not use it to ask for a job, discuss interest in that persons firm, or try to bulldoze the person to champion your case to employers. If you do the informational interview correctly by showing true interest in the subject area they are an expert in, and discuss ways you can leverage their knowledge to advance your understanding of processes/careers… you will gain super boosters without even knowing. Remember it’s not about making mentors out of each connection..it’s about making quality mentors and if fortunate enough, a SUPER BOOSTER!