Genuine, authentic interest in another person’s story. That’s what informational interviews are all about. They are one of my favorite ways to Research a new career. You get to find out quickly and easily what it takes to be successful and what the person loves (and doesn’t love about his/her job.) Talk about looking before you leap!
Unfortunately, I find people don’t know how to request this kind of conversation or follow-up from it in a way that builds a relationship. So today, I’m here to show you how. Recently I was asked to do an informational interview with a prospective coach and appreciated the way she requested the conversation and followed up. Her emails are shared below with permission.
Example Email To Request For an Informational Interview
Dear Ms. Mistal,
I discovered your work while searching for the most successful individuals in the field of career coaching. Your mission to empower others to take charge of their careers and pursue their passions really resonates with me. I watched the video in which you told the story of how you became a career coach and I was impressed that you were able to build your business while working full time and without much coaching experience. I am interested in becoming a career coach and would love to hear more about how you became a leader in the career coaching field. Would you be willing to spare 20 minutes, at your convenience, to tell me more about your journey?
Thank you very much for your time.
Example Email To Follow Up On An Informational Interview
Thank you again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with me yesterday. The information and advice you provided was incredibly helpful and greatly exceeded my expectations. I appreciate how much you were willing to share with me. Our conversation left me with a lot to reflect upon.
Reading these emails, it’s important to notice how Monica gives specific reasons why she wanted to speak with me. Notice also how she did not go into very much detail about herself but saved that for our call after she’d had a chance to hear my story. She also came prepared to our call with questions and showed me she was listening by reacting to my comments with her thoughts.
Now, it’s not all about me. But it is all about whomever you are looking to informational interview. You’ve got to make it about them to 1) learn what you need to about their experience in the career you are thinking of pursuing and 2) to build a relationship with this established person to find ways to work together should you confirm this is the right career for you.
Enjoy getting to know someone who’s doing what you think you’d like to do. Be curious about how they got to where they are and you’ll learn the steps you need to get where you want to be.
BONUS- Example LinkedIn Message to Request an Informational Interview:
Using LinkedIn to send your info interview requests? The message below has been used successful by my clients:
Hi (contact name),
Hope you’re well. I came across your profile while searching for (xyz industry) professionals. I’m impressed that you have done (xyz). Might you have 20 mins to spare to talk about your career? I’d love to hear what a typical day is like for you and what you love +/or find challenging about your work.
I’m exploring (insert industry or ideal job) and am very interested in your experiences. Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you! If I can return the favor and make a connection for you at any time, just let me know.