What exactly is an informational interview?Â An informational interview is where you interview a professional in your industry about their career, industry, or position.Â Informational interviews are especially useful in situations where there isnâ€™t an intern position posted in your desired company, if youâ€™re trying to learn more about a company, or wanting to expand your professional network.
To find a professional to interview, I suggest connecting on LinkedIn.Â Find a company or industry you want to work in or learn more about, add your college [Purdue] or a specific department to the search criteria, and find someone who may be a second or third degree connection.Â If they graduated from Purdue, it already gives you something to talk about with them.
If you can, connect with them; personalize your invitation to connect by explaining who you are and why you are requesting to connect.Â Ask them if they would have any time to speak with you about their career path since graduation and about their current company.Â If you are a third degree or farther contact, try asking your mutual connection to introduce the two of you.
After youâ€™ve set up an interview, do your homework.Â This is similar to a job interview, except now you will be the one doing the interviewing.Â Prepare intelligent questions to ask.Â Check out your professionalâ€™s LinkedIn profile and Google them to see if you can take any questions from that content.Â Make sure you donâ€™t ask questions that can be easily found elsewhere.Â If you use Google or LinkedIn content, ask questions that will expand on whatâ€™s already out there.
Donâ€™t send them your resume or cover letter unless they request it.Â Remember, youâ€™re the one doing the interviewing; this is about them, not you.
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