Informational interviews are an informal conversation with a working professional that you are interested in learning about what they do, or where they work. They are an opportunity to learn about the different sectors within public relations and an environment you may end up working at after graduation. Depending on your location, they are either over the phone or in person. There are numerous benefits to conducting informational interviews.
Here are our top three reasons:
- Learn about the industry and workplace
Can you think of a better way to get insight about a field you are interested in than talking to someone who is doing it day in and day out? If you are interested in the Food and Beverage industry, informational interviews are a great way to learn more about this area. If you are still trying to decide what area of PR you are interested in, informational interviews are a great way to find this out. By talking to current working professionals about what their day-to-day looks like, you learn about what the workplace is like and what it could look like for you. You also get a fresh perspective about the industry by hearing about projects they are working on.
- Get advice
This a great opportunity to ask professionals about what you can do now or take advantage of to get your dream job. You can also get advice about how to break into a specific industry or any other concerns you may have. I often like to ask professionals what they would have done differently to prepare themselves to get to where they are.
- Broaden your network
Informational interviews are a great way to introduce yourself by showing genuine interests in the person, their career, where they work or the industry as a whole. Be sure to choose who you interview wisely. Try connecting with people who you would like to have their job some day or work where they are working. Take this time to ask questions that you may not get answered anywhere else. After the interview, be sure to send a thank you note and check in every now and then to continue growing the relationship.
No matter how busy working professionals are, most of them are willing to talk to young professionals. So, get out there, research, be curious and start a conversation.