Friday, 24 May 2013

Job Search Lesson 3 – organizing informational interviews

Informational interviewsIn my last post I recommended that you build your network and knowledge base by conducting informational interviews.

When teeing up an interview, I recommend that you send an email to your contact asking for a half-hour coffee catch-up or phone conversation. Half an hour is about the right amount of time as it's short enough that most people are happy to spare the time to meet with someone to chat about their career and long enough to gain some really useful information.

Note: Having coffee with your contact is preferred to a phone conversation as meeting face-to-face builds more rapport than meeting over the phone. If that isn't feasible however, then phone conversations are still extremely valuable.

Below is an example of how I would structure the introductory email. Remember, if you don't receive a response within two weeks, send a follow up email checking whether they received your first one.

Example introductory email

Subject line:
Requesting half-hour coffee or phone conversation

Email body:
Hi Peter,

Would you be available sometime in the next few weeks for a half-hour coffee or phone conversation?

I got your contact details off Paul Jones, who said that you might be a great person to chat with to learn more about Nike and about marketing more broadly within apparel companies.

To give you a bit of background, most recently I was a marketing analyst at HSBC and prior to that, I was I was studying an MBA, with a focus on strategic marketing. I am now looking to move into the apparel industry, which is why I’m conducting research and meeting with people to get an understanding of the industry and its challenges.

Thanks in advance for your time.


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