Ever heard of an informational interview? It’s not the same as a job interview, where you’re asking for a job. In an informational interview, you’re asking for—you guessed it—information about a career that you’re thinking about. And, unlike a job interview, your informational interview is with someone who DOES the type of work you’re interested in.
Let’s say you’re an auto mechanic and you’re thinking about leaving that career and getting into selling airplanes. In that case, you’d want to have an informational interview with an airplane sales rep to learn what it’s like to sell airplanes. Later, if you apply for a sales position, you’d have a job interview with the sales manager. See the difference?
Here’s what an informational interview can tell you:
- What skills are required for the job
- What advancement possibilities exist
- What salary ranges are typical
- What the corporate culture's like
Getting the inside scoop on this kind of stuff can help you figure out whether or not you want to get into a particular career. And here’s the best part: You can figure it out without spending a single minute on the job.
For more about informational interviewing, go to The Informational Interviewing Tutorial.