An informational interview can help you learn more about a specific company, career path, or industry or gain some general career advice. It is a conversation you can set up with a professional with proven experience in the areas you want to learn more about, and who can help you develop your career by sharing their inside knowledge with you.
The information you can get from this person will often be more in-depth to what you can find online, especially in terms of job adverts and ‘About Us’ pages for companies you’re applying to, which don’t always represent reality. They’re therefore a great opportunity to demonstrate a more in-depth understanding of how things work in the industry, company or role you’re applying for in your applications, ultimately helping you to stand out from the competition.
Informational interviews are also a good way to give you exposure, and so it’s important to be professional and make a good impression, as you want your name to be remembered for positive reasons. Although these interviews are more conversational and less formal than job interviews, it’s still important to do your research, know what questions you want to ask, and know what you hope to gain from the interview. You should also make sure to keep the interview positive and to not say anything negative about previous roles, employers, or even yourself.