I recently revamped an old post of mine called “How To Get An Entertainment Internship“. It really got me thinking about what it was like when I was an intern. Before graduating, everyone told me to network while I was at my internships. One of those things was going on an informational interview.
What I learned is that getting an entertainment internship is one thing, while getting an entertainment full-time job is another. What I learned is that after graduating college, you’re faced with a whole new beast. Let me know in the comments if you want a blog post on what the first year after graduation is really like.
What I learned is that getting an entertainment internship is one thing, while getting an entertainment full-time job is another.
So, one of the things I did was go on informational interviews. They are super helpful for networking and really helpful for when you are a little unsure about your future. So, if you want to know how to snag and do well on an informational interview, keep reading!
What is an Informational Interview?
You may have a leg up on some people because some haven’t even heard of an informational interview. So read closely because this could set you apart from others and could make you look very professional. An informational interview is essentially a reversal of a standard interview. Instead of someone interviewing you, you’re interviewing them.
There are many reasons why you would go on an informational interview. You may want some insight on potential internships, jobs, or career options. I’ve done informational interviews for all of these reasons. Some provided clarity and some did not.
How To Go About Asking Someone To Do An Informational Interview
One tip is to look on LinkedIn or ask around at your internship. There are many ways to get an email, which I won’t detail here. However, check out this article if you need help.
Here’s a perfect way to craft an email to your potential interviewee:
My name is XX and I am a student [or recent graduate] at XX University. I came across your name on LinkedIn [or say you were referred by a friend if you were]. I am looking to do an information interview with you as I am interested in [insert interested field here]. I’d love to know more about what you do and how you got your start.
I know you have a busy schedule, but please let me know if you are available either this week or next week and I will send you a Google Calendar request [the request part is optional]. Looking forward to hearing from you!
First and Last Name
How To Do Well On An Informational Interview
So the person you emailed said yes? Great! Now you want to bring a notebook and pen to the interview. Get there at least 10-15 minutes early. If you want to really impress them, get them a bottle of water. However, this should be natural, meaning if you are meeting them in their office, don’t bring a water bottle there. If you are meeting them in a coffee shop or cafe, feel free to get them a cold water bottle.
Make sure to research the person you’re doing an informational interview with. Come with well-thought questions that show you’re professional. It makes you look well prepared and your person will be impressed. One thing that was told to me was to never push your resume onto the person. It may come across as desperate. I think that if it feels right and you genuinely want someone to take a look at your resume and give you feedback, I say go for it. However, if your goal is to get an internship or job, I say bring your resume and let your person ask you for your resume.
Informational interviews can be a great way to network. However, there is no guarantee that you will get a job or an internship. Life after graduation is always subject to change. Hopefully, these tips will give you some guidance on how to snag and do well on an informational interview.
Question of the day: how do you feel about the informational interview? Do you think you’ll ever go on one?
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