Let's Put an End to Informational Interviews and Do This Instead

confidence interviews Jan 21, 2020

Does anyone want to give me a job? Anybody? Hello?

Does asking for an informational interview feel a little like begging to you?  Experts keep saying that informational interviews are getting harder to get yet those same experts are encouraging career seekers to keep asking for them. Let’s put an end to the informational interview, shall we? Or, at least, let’s define them better.

The most difficult aspects of asking for an informational interview are:

  • Being unsure who to invite
  • Being unsure what to say in the invite
  • It just feels awkward 

I believe a lot of that comes from the use of the term “interview”. My suggestion is that we stop calling these things informational interviews as they have come to be known - attempts to cheat the systems and get hired without waiting for a job to be posted. It is for that reason, people are becoming less and less likely to accept your invitation. 

Instead of asking the VP of the environmental firm you want to work with for an informational interview, how about a personal Interview, a career interview, a meet and greet, or a coffee meet?

Let’s go back to the points above. 

  • Being unsure who to invite
  • If you flip your thinking from informational interview to career path interview, doesn’t it instantly become clearer whom you should seek to contact? Instead of persons with information which could be anyone, to persons who have been on the path you’d like to be on.
  • Being unsure what to say in the invite
  • If you flip your thinking to personal interview or meet and greet, doesn’t it become clearer that you’re looking to make a personal connection rather than have a formal conversation (aka an interview to nowhere)? 
  • It just feels awkward
    • When asking for an informational interview, it’s all about you, the job seeker. Why should an important and busy person who doesn’t know you give up their valuable time to talk to you? It’s the “give me a job” aspect (which is always implied in an informational interview whether you say it or not) that gives you the begging sort of feeling when asking for informational interviews. If you’re just asking someone to talk about their life and career path in return for coffee, lunch, or volunteer time you’ll be more likely and more confident about making the ask. 

If you want to learn more, TheMuse has written some great articles. Just replace the words “informational interview” with a suggestion from above.  




You might also be interested in the ENVIROlocity Career Interview Series: https://bit.ly/2Oc6WdA 

Webinar - How to Network Without Feeling Stalkery

Stay gold, 

-Laura, the Environmental Career Coach


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