Informational interview is a highly recommended technique for job hunters. This is often done by job seekers who want to know more about the company before they actually commit their time to get accepted. They can ask the hiring manager, supervisor or even the business owner to give them a small orientation on what the company does and how they assist their employees.
But an informational interview can have serious repercussions. When the informational interview is not properly done, the candidate might never be able to provide a good impression or increase their chances of employment.
If you’re thinking of conducting a series of informational interviews, here are some things you should avoid:
No back-up plan – one of the biggest misconceptions about information interview is that the company doesn’t care if you don’t follow-up in case they say no. More often than not (especially for small businesses) not following-up or even thanking them through email is already a bad sign. Don’t just leave and communicate to another company simply because you are rejected. Be courteous enough to say "thank you." The fact that they responded to your email is already a sign of professionalism in their end.
No proper preparation of questions – avoid asking dumb questions during the informational interview. Remember that you are also being evaluated by the way you ask questions. A person’s knowledge of the industry and ability to convey ideas efficiently is based on the questions they ask.
They will certainly remember you since you are brave enough to come forward and ask questions why you should work for them. For that reason, it’s very important to prepare the questions you have to ask. Be sure that you sound spontaneous to provide a good impression.
Uneasiness during Informational Interview – business owners expect that you’ll be a bit nervous when asking questions. But they also expect that you will be calmer as you continue the interview and end up with confidence in the end. If you’re not at ease or nervous during the interview process, the person who conducts the operational interview will think that you will never survive the work environment. There’s a big probability that they will mark you down. Even though you go back with confidence, they will still remember your difficulty in adjustment to the work conditions.
Limited Idea about the Company or Industry – the biggest mistake anyone will do during the informational interview is to come with little knowledge about the company or even the industry. This can easily happen during recession since a lot of people are opting to cross over to another industry.
Before asking for the time and date for the interview, make sure that you have enough time to know more about the company and industry. This knowledge of the industry will help you ask better questions. It doesn’t matter that some questions could be basic as long as you explain that you chose this industry because of your qualifications. Prepare by research and formulate better answers to avoid blunders during informational interview.