You're dressed professionally and have arrived at your informational interview, prepared with your research, questions, resume and portfolio for note taking. Introduce yourself to your contact with a firm handshake. Thank them, again, for taking time out of their day to meet with you and reaffirm your desire to learn during this interview.
While the informational interview is mainly about you gathering information, also be sure to share a little information about yourself. Remember this isn't a job interview; however, some may turn into a job interview. If this happens, seek clarification regarding the position so you can focus on your transferable skills and experience and how it relates to the position.
Do's and Don'ts of Informational Interviews
- DO extend a firm handshake
- DO smile and maintain a healthy level of enthusiasm
- DO maintain good eye contact
- DO exhibit strong listening skills
- DO ask for a business card and give them one of yours (if you have some)
- DO ask for referrals
- DO be respectful of their time (try to keep the interview at the agreed upon length)
- DO thank them for their time
- DO ask them if you can stay in touch (then be sure to stay in touch!)
- DON'T bring in your cell phone (turn it off or leave it in the car)
- DON'T chew gum
- DON'T ask for a job
Step 5: After the interview: Follow-up