Finding and requesting an Informational Interview

Finding and requesting an Informational Interview

Written in collaboration with Engineers for a Sustainable World

After you have identified specific industries, companies and roles you are interested in (takes a lot work), most folks go to Linkedin and do a “company search” to find companies they are targeting.  On linkedin, they select employees at that company who (1) are in roles they are interested in and (2) are recent grads (graduated in last few years).  Job titles and pics tell you who graduated recently (e.g., skip VPs, CEOs, etc.)  Finding someone from your school, if possible, really helps, too.

The next step is to send an email asking for the interview.  A smart, two step strategy is to craft a short message in your connect invite (it’s free), which if accepted, allows you to send your request for an interview for free.  Your fallback is to purchase and send an Inmail.  Either way, you need to develop a standard email pitch template which you can (and must) customize to fit each company/person.  A template example is attached.  Key structural points in the email are:

  1. Keep it short, several sentences
  2. Don’t write forever about yourself, selling how awesome you are.  Shine the light on the prospective interviewee, on his/her story
  3. Personalize the damn template email.  Say something about the specific company and person (e.g., their job title).
  4. Be clear that you are not asking for a job, but rather for insight
  5. Provide your phone and email contact information
  6. Talk about their schedule & availability; not yours
  7. The tone of your email should ooze passion and humility (you so want to get in, but you know how hard it’s going to be)

Using Dayaway’s Everyman networking platform (on our homepage) is even easier than using Linkedin to find young professionals to talk to.  We’re biased, but we’re right 🙂

If you liked this article, you may want to read, “Preparing For Your Informational Interview

 

— Email Template —

Hello __,

My name is __, and I’m about to start my [senior/junior] year at __ as an__ major. I am very interested in the __ industry, ideally in an__role.  My Linkedin profile (insert your Linkedin URL) shows the concrete steps I have taken in this direction.

It’s hard for a fresh graduate to get hired into the __[solar/bioenergy] renewable energy sector, so I want to learn from those like you who have.  I was wondering if you might be able to spare a few minutes of your time to talk about your first few years in the __ industry and your __ role, so I can get a sense of the real world skills and experiences I need to develop upon graduation to help me get into a role like yours someday.  Basically, I’d love to hear your story.  I will make myself available whenever you might have time to talk.

Thank you so much.

Your name, email address and phone number.