The Value of Informational Interviews

I’ve mentioned informational interviews before, but as my college career is winding up, I’m realizing more and more the value of these interviews. I started chasing after professional individuals the fall of my sophomore year in college, and while it was terrifying (“Hi, you don’t know me, but can I take you out for coffee and pick your brain sometime?”), informational interviews have taught me a lot about several different industries, and I became aware of jobs I never knew existed. Here are a couple reasons you should consider finding some individuals to interview during your time as a budding professional:

Networking

Because that’s how everyone says you get a job now… ‘Nuff said.

Interview Practice

Granted, if you’re not a journalism major, interviews may not be a part of your daily job life. But being able to listen to others and ask precise questions all help you improve your conversation skills.

Courage Building

Let’s face it, asking to interview a perfect stranger (or a distant connection) is intimidating. However, you will find most people are more generous than you thought, and while not every interview has been super memorable, I’ve always been glad that I did them.

Industry Knowledge

Think about it this way: This is a way to learn more about an industry you may want to break into some day, all for the price of a cup of coffee. Even if you aren’t sure if you want to go into that field or not, you still have the information in the back of your pocket just in case.

So, definitely try to fit in informational interviews as much as possible. It may involve spending some money on coffee and you won’t always make life-long connections that lead to jobs. However, these interviews do not take up as much time as you may think, and you will learn something new. And learning something new is definitely not a bad thing.

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