Informal interviews are usually important in the development of an individual’s career. These interviews involve making an arrangement to meet an individual who is already well established in a certain field so that you can get to learn how they conduct their activities. The main aim of an informal interview is to provide you with crucial information and guidance that will help you become successful in your career.
Recently, informal interviews have become so popular due to various reasons: they help you to build a network which is a stepping stone in the journey of becoming successful in your career. The informal interviews help to build quality connections which help to propagate your career. The person you interview can also become your ally, mentor or an important foundation for developing contacts. Whether the informal interview you attend is in your field of specialization or not in case there happens to be job vacancy your name is usually the first to pop up to fill the vacant position.
There are individuals who view these kinds of interviews to be a form of interrogation, but this is not usually the case. It is an opportunity to interact with experienced and successful individuals who have already realized their dream. All you need to do during the interview is to pay attention and show the individuals you are conversing with that you really want to learn and also need their guidance to establish yourself.
Here are useful tips for attending an informal interview.
How to make contact
One of the major steps in attending this kind of interview is identifying the subject of your interview. You can make contact by cold calling the person you want to interview. Although cold calling might work, the most convenient way to make contact is to ask a friend of the person you would like to interview to link you up with him or her. The best way to be referred to your subject is by email since it brakes any obstacles as everybody’s names appear on same address field.
Spill everything out concerning interview including what you intend to achieve when sending an email to the person you intend to interview. You can highlight a summary of your life something like a mini resume and its connection to your interview. After sending your email, you should be patient for about a week of two to wait for a response, if you do not get any response you can consider sending a follow-up email.
Be ready to learn
It is good to be patient and be willing to learn, asking a few questions do not justify that the time sacrificed by the person you are interviewing was worth it. Do not make the person feel as if they have wasted their time on you thinking that you can ask a few questions on the spot and call it a day.
Develop a well-thought question list which will act as a training guide. Come up with a question line that has a good flow whereby each question has been built on the previous question.
Consider a good location
The success of any informal interview is usually highly influenced by convenience and comfort of where the interview is taking place. Check with the person you want to interview the place they would like you to meet. Some individuals may opt for an office while others may choose to do it over a cup of coffee although this should not worry you too much.
After the interview
You should consider showing your appreciation for getting an opportunity to interview the person. The best way to show your gratitude is to send an appreciation email. If you want to spice things up, you can consider sending a thank you card. Sending a gift may seem to be an exaggeration. A simple thank you may seem not to be too much, but it’s a good basis for establishing a connection with the person you interviewed. Some time later the contact you established can be of great help in driving your career on the right path.