The Best Kept Secret for Career Planning – The Informational Interview, Part 2

by Lisa on October 13, 2009

Dear Mrs. McGregor,

I recently graduated from the University of Miami, and after my good friend, David Johnson, learned that I was interested in a career in marketing, he suggested I contact you to request a brief informational interview.

While at the University of Miami, I majored in marketing. In addition, I had an internship last summer at Razor Corp, where I assisted media buyers on several high-profile interactive marketing campaigns. I now plan to apply both my education and my work experience to a career in marketing. At your convenience, I was hoping to learn what types of positions you suggest for a recent college graduate, and also to hear your thoughts the future of the industry as a whole.

Thank you very much for your time. If you are available to speak with me, we can talk over the phone, or I can meet you at a location of your choosing. I can be reached at 646 402 5557or by e-mail at mike@gradspot.com.

Appreciatively,

Michael Humphrey

For an example from www.gradspot.com of how to do a phone call, click here. I would also attach your resume because HR will generally keep this on file, and who knows, there’s a chance they can end up contacting you if a position opens. Also, the interview doesn’t have to be face-to-face, but it’ll be a better learning experience versus over the phone.

Questions to Ask

The most important thing here is to prepare. It may not be a job interview, but you are the one asking the questions. Think about what you actually want to know. This is not a time for you to ask about vacation time, 401k, salary, and so forth. You are still representing yourself, and your questions will reflect back on you. It may not be an employment interview now, but it has a strong potential to be one down the line. Prepare, prepare, prepare. It’s so very important. Do your research, know what you are looking for when asking a question, and be yourself and professional. As optimistic and supportive as we all like to be, we also know that there is such a thing as a stupid question.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Why did you choose this field?
  2. How did you get started in it?
  3. What is a typical work day like?
  4. What aspect do you enjoy the most in your job? the least?
  5. How would you describe the company culture?

click here for part 3 on informational interviews

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jose Escalante October 13, 2009 at 7:04 am

This is a great way to learn about the company

Jose Escalante
http://www.joseescalante.com

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Rob Northrup October 13, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Dear Michael,

I would love to meet with you and have you buy me a very expensive lunch.

In the meantime, I would recommend that you forget everything you learned about Marketing in college and study the collected works of Dan Kennedy (books available at Amazon- start with NO BS Series).

Then learn basic copywriting skills from the books- The Copywriters Handbook by Bob Bly and How to Write A Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab. And finally, read the books Influence by Robert Cialdini and The Science of Influence by Kevin Hogan to learn how to use behavioral psychology to influence buying behavior…

Call me in a few weeks when you have looked through these items. If you have a few more days, read the first couple chapters of Positioning by Trout and Ries and then Scientific Advertising by Hopkins (available online for free- do a google search)…

Seize the Day,
Rob

Simple Survival Tips For Disasters and Emergencies

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Darryl Pace October 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Very, very good information for those looking into a particular career.

Health, Fitness for Working People — Darryl Pace

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Vegas Boomer Dating Expert October 13, 2009 at 11:54 pm

I SO appreciated that your person focused things a bit and provided a background!

the one other caveat I appreciate is when IN THE ASKING they set a TIME LIMIT on themselves. 15 mins. 20 mins. Then the busy executive knows in one piece of correspondence to what she agreeing or refusing if you don’t ASK completely. I can guide them and do that for them, but don’t make me do ALL the work. 🙂

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell
Single Boomer Dating Expert

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Steve Chambers October 14, 2009 at 2:34 am

This might work.

Steve Chambers
Sales Training Speaker

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Keri Eagan October 14, 2009 at 9:11 pm

I like how you gave a written example. Can be very intimidating the first approach.

Great advice as always.

Keri Eagan
Alternative Healing Insights

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Lisa McLellan October 27, 2009 at 6:45 pm

This is a great example. Rob’s response is hysterical. Where would we get our giggles without him?

Lisa McLellan
Babysitting Services – Babysitter in your area

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