The Power of an Informational Interview

What’s an informational interview, you ask? It’s an interview that won’t necessarily lead to a job, but can lead to you learning a lot more about a specific job, company, or industry. When it comes to landing a media job, informational interviews are essential. Here are the top 3 reasons why:

Listen and Learn
Ever wonder what a cameraman’s average day looks like? Want to know about what it’s like working at Disney? An informational interview is your opportunity to glance into a career path that interests you. You’ll be able ask questions and gather information without the pressure of a job on the line. You’ll become more informed, making you better prepared for a job interview later on.

Networking Opportunity
One of the most valuable things you’ll get out of an informational interview is a great networking opportunity. Here is your chance to grow your contacts. After the interview, connect via LinkedIn. Since you’re keeping track of all of the job openings in media, when a job opens in their company or department, you’ll have someone to send a resume to. There’s nothing like getting your resume personally passed along!

They’re Easy to Get
Unlike a job interview, landing an informational interview isn’t that challenging. People are often willing to chat over the phone or a cup of coffee about what they do and how they got there. If there’s 2 things people love doing, it’s talking about themselves and helping others. Take advantage of that and ask if they’d be willing to spare a few minutes of their time to help you out. Work around their schedule and if you can get them to a coffee shop, always offer to pay for their drink (it’s the least you could do!). Be prepared with thoughtful questions and, like in a real interview, don’t forget to send a thank you note.

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