Career Coach News: How to Schedule an Informational Interview

No matter how technologically advanced society gets, making a personal connection is still the top way to get a job, says Seth Kaufman, psy.d., Certified Career and Life Purpose Coach with the Institute for Coaching.

Instead of spending all your time submitting your resume to online job postings, Dr. Kaufman proposes that you spend some time remembering who you know – and reaching out to them. He suggests an action plan of going through your Rolodex or address book, and reviewing the information on everyone you know, to see who might be a potential contact to network your way into a company.

So how do you reach out to the possible networking contact? He suggests a simple phone call if the person is a regular part of your life. Otherwise, email first.

There is “nothing wrong” in reaching out and giving someone room to help, or to say no, he says. Dr. Kaufman suggests you propose an informational interview by asking the person if he would be willing to talk with you about their company.

Dr. Kaufman says people are willing to help others who they have a “genuine connection with.” And he says that most people, despite all the cynicism, really are genuinely interested in helping other people. Just make sure you have a rapport with the person, he says, or things won’t go over well.

Here’s another reason why others may be willing to assist you. Dr. Kaufman points out that people you ask for help may have gotten help from others in the past. “There is a give-and-take,” he notes.

If you’re not sure how exactly to request that informational interview, the life coach says you could say something like this: “I’d like to get X position at Y Company. What do you suggest I do? What would you do?” Then take it from there, and follow the person’s advice.

The Institute for Coaching offers life, career, and executive coaching services.

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