Talking with people about their careers, or “information interviewing,” is one of the most powerful ways to learn about a career. After you’ve taken a career assessment, researched and narrowed down your options, you’re ready to talk with professionals in those careers to discover even more. Here’s how it works – simply follow these 5 steps:
Get the most from the interview by having researched careers and company web sites before your interview. Use these excellent tools on our web site: Bridges, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Vault.com, and Learn More Indiana, etc.
Start with the IU Southeast Career Development Center Office! Ask for referrals from our “Career Networking Program” and also contact friends, family, faculty, and classmates asking if they know anyone who works in the field of _______________. See our Majors & Careers page for additional information.
Email, write, or call to request a meeting. “I am a freshman at IU Southeast trying to decide my major. I am very interested in the field of ______________. I received your name from the Career Development Center Office at IU Southeast. Would you be willing to meet with me briefly in the next few weeks to talk with me about your job and your career path?”
What do you want to know? Prepare your questions in advance. You may want to seek confirmation from your research. Dress professionally – dress pants and a jacket are a must.
Informational interviewing can have both short-term and long-term benefits. In the short term, you gain information and insights that can help you focus your career direction. In the long term, you may establish an important contact for future employment. Send a thank-you note within 24 hours mentioning how the talk helped you and what suggestions you plan to implement. Also, from time to time, let the individual know of your progress and keep his or her name on file. If at some point you desire employment with the organization, send your resume with a cover letter detailing why you were impressed with the firm and how your skills can meet their needs.
The following is an example of a typed thank-you letter to an accountant:
Your street address
Your city, state and zip
Ms. Gloria Smith
ABC Accounting Firm
1234 State Street
New Albany, IN 47150
Dear Ms. Smith:
Thank you for meeting with me last Tuesday to share your insights on the accounting field. Our discussion was most helpful and has confirmed my interest in pursuing an accounting degree at IU Southeast. I will definitely join the Accounting Club and look forward to interviewing with you on campus for an internship position next fall. The information you shared has been of great value to me. As you requested, I will let you know of my progress.
Again, I deeply appreciate your time and helpful suggestions.
(Sign your name in this space)
Type your name here.