Below is a guide I use when planning questions for an informational interview to ask a professional. In the previous blog post I discussed how to send out email outreach to professionals to make requests.
It will be very helpful to read the previous blog post first, then watch the video above and read the guide below. The part with red fonts is where you have to insert an item.
Informational Interview with *insert name*
Note of appreciation: Thanks for this opportunity.
Option to exclude questions: Below is a list of questions we will discuss during our meeting, however, if there are any questions listed below that you don’t feel comfortable responding to, I’ll respect your wishes to exclude them from the discussion. Also, the questions may be reduced or changed depending on how much time we have to speak.
Meeting time: Before we start the meeting, we scheduled for *insert minutes,* I want to be respectful of your time. How much time do you have to spend with me?
Platform of research: I researched you and your work using LinkedIn. So, a lot of my questions are based on this research. Feel free to correct me where I am wrong and fill the gaps as needed or add information you think will be valuable to me.
Questions for me:
Is there is anything I haven’t asked that you’ll be willing to share or discuss?
by Oyindamola Shoola
During my job search, one of the things that kept me going was doing informational interviews. Doing informational interviews were very helpful for the following reasons:
Although informational interviews have continually been praised for helping people gain advocates to secure jobs, it wasn’t the case for me. The informational interviews I did were very profitable in that they helped expand my professional network and receive advise about best practices in a job search.
As a writer, I have received several emails for interviews about my work in the past, so I knew firsthand, the pet-peeves that came with poor communication for interview requests as well as unthoughtful interview questions. Especially in the pandemic when so many people were reaching out to professionals for informational interviews, I didn’t want to be lost in the mix. I didn’t want my email outreach for an interview to go unread. In this blog post, I’ll share my best practices for an informational interview.
Let’s dive in!
What is an informational interview?
According to Wikipedia, an Informational Interview (also known as an informational meeting, coffee chat, or more generically, networking) is a conversation in which a person seeks insights on a career path, an industry, a company and/or general career advice from someone with experience and knowledge in the areas of interest.
by Adeola Oke
The only way you can be certain that something was absolutely not meant to be is if you give it your 101% the first time you get a chance.
Job applications or applications to any opportunity can be a handful, especially when interviews are a part of the process. Like any other job seeker, I have experienced completing numerous applications, some leading to interviews and receiving rejections. However, within the rejections, I have gained valuable lessons that I have applied to secure a few opportunities successfully.
For instance, while preparing to interview with an organization I applied to, I researched the organization to be informed about its mission, projects, teams, audience, and more. The day for the virtual interview came, and I answered all the questions well within the provided time. However, throughout the interview, I didn't enable my video intentionally because I didn't feel the need to since the interviewer didn't do the same.
by Adeola Oke
If anyone tells you they eat frogs, what will your reaction be? I can imagine your irritated or surprised face and possibly saying, "That's weird."
Although weird, this catchy phrase is Brain Tracy’s bestseller book title, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating. The absurdity is not only an attention grabber but a call out of our comfort zone, as it takes more intentionality and doggedness for anyone to do something out of the ordinary. The metaphor of eating a frog shows the importance of prioritizing one’s work. The "Frog" represents the most important and, many times, difficult task you need to accomplish. Learning how to eat a frog would take extra effort, but once done consistently, it would become a delight.
Like many people, I tend to push down my most difficult tasks, but once done, a heavy burden is lifted from my shoulders. The most gratifying thing about eating my frog sometimes is the excuse to reward myself. Brian Tracy's Eat That Frog talks about setting clear goals, planning, and prioritizing effectively. Goal setting helps you to identify where you want to be, and planning is establishing the steps to get there.
The first career I remember ever desiring to become was a teacher. I grew up watching my mother be one at a few schools and found a home in the academic environment. Her work and identity as a teacher didn’t stop at school; you could see it from how she raised us to be learners and apprentices of knowledge.
Unlike other students whose academic intelligence came naturally, mine needed extra effort. Since my sister was a class ahead, my mother ensured that during holidays, I read most of my sister’s school subject notes in preparation for the next term. Then, before tests, she would ensure I read the assigned portions repeatedly and ask me questions with pankere, a whipping cane, evoking the fear of God in me. This fear stirred prompt responses to her questions, and for the most part, I passed with flying colors.