The Informational Interview: The Art of the Request

My career path isn't straight.

Back in the day, I was miserable in event planning and I had my sights set on higher education, specifically advising. I knew NOTHING about the field beside the results that populated from my Google search terms. How did I proceed?

Meg Applegate, Resume Writer, Informational Interviews.jpg

I emailed a COMPLETE STRANGER who was an academic advisor at a local university and asked her to lunch. I inquired about her career story and what I needed to do to get the job she had. And you know what? She HELPED me…over said lunch! She even gave me feedback on my written statement for my graduate school application (per her advice to apply to grad school)…A STRANGER!!

So, how do you request an informational interview? Let lunch (or coffee) lead the way.

- Be curious. Request to learn about their company and/or career story. Know a bit about the person to explain why you are asking for their time (flattery never hurts!).

- Be specific. Ask for 20-30-minutes of their time via phone or in-person. Include possible days/times as options.

- Be professional. Avoid grammar and spelling errors in your email request. Be conscientious and grateful for their time in advance.