Essay about What is an Informational Interview?

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What is an Informational Interview?
The main purpose in facilitating this meeting is to educate and inform. Remember the person is volunteering their time. You will have the opportunity to; ask questions and gain insight from a professional. · Students must call in/show up on time to any appointments with their mentor (that means arriving 10-15 minutes early to ensure you are not late). In extreme cases when the appointment needs to be canceled, the student should provide at least 24 hours notice.
· While it is appropriate to ask for tips on how to look for openings in the field, it is not appropriate to ask them to hire you or to get you a job/internship.
· Students must conduct themselves professionally at all times, such as being prepared, dressing in minimally business casual, writing a professional sounding email, showing up on time, taking notes, etc. Remember
· Although ideal to meet with the mentor in person, if the mentor is unable to due to schedule or location, speaking with them via the phone is perfectly fine. Interviews should not be conducted via email.
· You may feel awkward when you start to contact alumni or person. Keep in mind that most professionals remember what it’s like to begin and build a career.
· As a team come up with a goal for your interview. What are you trying to accomplish? Making the Initial Contact
· Assign one person from your team to be the point person to contact the alum (the other students can be copied)
· Before making your initial contact, clarify what information it is that you would like from them.
· Make your initial contact through a short email message. Don’t flood the person with questions at this point, but indicate the general areas you’d like information about and that you would like to set up a time to speak in person or by phone. Be respectful of their time and availability limits. Be flexible should they need to reschedule or their availability is limited. Make the process as convenient as possible for the mentor.
· When contacting them via email, review what you write carefully and use the sample email below for help. Summarize the goals of the project/interview in 2-3 sentences to give the alumnus/a better understanding. Subject: Important to reference LIU- Brooklyn
Dear Ms…. /Mr……/Dr……… I obtained your contact information through the Career Services Office. We appreciate your willingness to share some of your experiences with students who are exploring careers. As part of my career exploration process I would like to interview you .I would love to hear how you entered the field, what you like most about your work, and anything else you would like to share about your professional career. Questions will be sent prior to the meeting Thank you in advance for your time. I look forward to hearing from you. Before Your Person/Phone Meeting
Research the career/industry/company beforehand so you are better prepared
Think about what you are hoping to gain from the conversation, and prepare a list of questions
Contact the alumna/alumnus 2-3 days prior to the meeting to confirm the meeting time and/or place. Let them know you look forward to meeting them. Include 5-8 questions you plan to ask to help them prepare ahead of time. Your questions can range from learning about a career field, researching an organization, or searching for job opportunities. For example: What was your major? How was it helpful? What do you enjoy about your career? What don’t you enjoy? What do you know that you wish you knew when you were at LIU Brooklyn?
In case of an extreme emergency, get their direct phone number and give them your cell phone number. During Your in Person/Phone Meeting
Remember if you show up late, fail to show up or conduct yourself in unprofessional manner, your professor will be notified.
Always be attentive and pleasant.
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