Informational Interviews: Trick to Landing the Right Job

Ever landed on a job but felt that it was a poor fit? Jobseekers often take the first offer that comes along because of the urgency to find a job – to pay the bills and daily expenses. While that is an important consideration, few consider if the nature of work suits them.

As most of our waking hours are spent at work, we need to be certain that we are taking on a role that we are motivated to go to every day. It is therefore important to do some ‘investigative research’ to find out if the new job or company meets your expectations and overall career goals.

One tactic to conduct such research is through an Informational Interview.

An informational interview is a casual conversation you have with someone who is familiar with the company’s corporate culture, daily routine, career progression and so on. You could think of it as a way to get ‘insider’ information about the job or company.

When should you plan for an information interview? When you…

  • Want to know more about the new role or the company
  • Are exploring a career switch without sufficient knowledge about the new job or industry

Who can you ask?

  • Existing network of friends and family members
  • LinkedIn connections
  • Tertiary alumni or connections in professional associations
  • Ex-colleagues and supervisors
  • People you meet through interest groups, such as on meetup.com or Eventbrite

What to ask?

  • What is a typical working day like?
  • What are the working conditions like?
  • What do I need to do to be successful in this role?
  • What are the things you enjoyed most about this role?
  • What are the things you least enjoyed?
  • What is the employment outlook or trends for this sector?
  • How can I make career progressions?
  • Where can I get more information regarding this role?

How can I benefit?

  • Gain insights into the job, company and the industries
  • Validate whether the work taps onto your motivated skills and passions
  • Helps you build rapport with your network
  • Helps you make informed choices based on facts