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Informational Interviews “When Can I Be The Interviewer?”

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1 Informational Interviews “When Can I Be The Interviewer?”
Jim Fagan 3/22/04

2 What do you expect from the following?
Light switch Facet Car brakes Reliability Just like the career techniques on the Roadmap Checklist 3/22/04

3 Where Am I Roadmap Steps Orientation God’s Will Marketing Plans
Outreach Plans-Informational interviews Accountability Networking 3/22/04

4 Agenda What Are Informational Interviews Benefits & Objectives
Guidelines Sample Dialogue Who Do I Talk to? Why Would They Talk to Me? Getting the Appointment Next Steps… 3/22/04

5 The most effective way to shorten my career transition is…
True or False? Sitting at home and sending out letters Creating a Network List and matching to Companies Telling others about target companies Attending networking and association meetings Hanging out in your current job waiting for the ideal opportunity Taking career assessments to hook up with right job Reading the classified ads Conducting Informational Interviews F T T T F F F T 3/22/04

6 What Are Informational Interviews
Conducting a meeting at a target company with a key person Seeking out individuals who know about the job/industry that interests me … the insider view Managers/VP’s, key experts, speakers at events Discovering unpublished jobs, hidden job market-80% Richard Nelson Bolles, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” It is NOT a job interview … Do NOT ask for a job You get to… Set the appointment Decide what you need to know Conduct the meeting Ask the questions Draw the conclusions Source: John Hall Career Services 3/22/04

7 Benefits Expansion of your job market
Evaluation of the ‘match’ between you and specific jobs Improvement of communication and job search skills Development of self-confidence Creation of a network which can support your career and personal needs Giving a positive approach to your to search Talking with hiring managers… Raises odds of finding hidden job (12:1 vs. 200:1) Reduces search time Expansion… Find career paths you didn’t know existed Discovering job titles Gathering first-hand information and subjective opinion Evaluation… Discovering what personality traits are best for the jobs you’re considering Clarifying whatever weakness exists in education, skill base, personal development and identifying areas for growth (ex: life science degrees and personal sales title) Finding out what motivates you and where you can compromise Improvement… Learning mentally connect talking to strangers about jobs as a low stress and enjoyable experience Asking for information and learning how to be in control of a discussion Practicing the listening and speaking skills you need to be effective in job interviews Talking to hiring managers who can give you more contacts at other companies Development… Feeling like an impressive job candidate who’s done their ‘professional homework’ Obtaining valuable project management experiences Learning how to set and achieve short and long term goals Taking control of your future Observing your failures and successes and learning to appreciate and capitalize on both Creation… Meeting new people and making new friends Finding out what you should be reading and which professional organizations you should join to remain updated Meeting potential employers at your best (prepared!) Motivating people to look for job opportunities for you. You motivate them by: making a good impression, thanking them, communicating openly about your abilities and goals, and staying contact. Giving… Making your career a high priority for a while, knowing that you’ll probably go through this process again several times. Renewing your belief in the goodness of people and their innate desire to be helpful 3/22/04

8 Objective To supplement information you already have developed about the occupation and/or industries you are considering Uncover needs of organization, position your qualifications as a solution and explore opportunities To get referrals that will extend your network To find the hiring manager To be remembered favorably and actively 3/22/04

9 Quotes “God heals, and the Doctor takes the fees.”
“Work as if you were to live 100 years, pray as if you were to die tomorrow.” (May 1757) Benjamin Franklin, “Poor Richard’s Almanac” “The only spiritual light in the world comes through Jesus Christ and the inspired Book.” Samuel Colgate, 1890 Went to church and fasted all day. Seeking God’s will whether to break ties with England George Washington’s diary June 1, 1774 3/22/04

10 Guidelines No rules Try for 1 per week, 2 is goal Be Prepared
Research industry and company first Time is critical, rehearse with watch 20-30 mins MAX CANNOT GO OVER PROMISED TIME LIMIT Try for 1 per week, 2 is goal Relax and smile, CONFIDENT 3/22/04

11 Sample Opening Interview (2-3 mins) Set Agenda (1 min)
Brief Background (3 mins) Your Questions (15 mins) Resume Feedback (optional) Ask for Referrals (2 mins) Any Questions for Me? (3 mins) Closing Interview (1 min) Thank-you Letter 3/22/04

12 Dialogue 1. Opening 2. Set An Agenda Casual conversation
“Let me tell you why I’m here. First of all thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me.” 2. Set An Agenda Be perceived as a well organized professional “As promised in my letter and call I will make this meeting brief. To help me do that what I would like to do is begin by giving you a brief overview of my background and the options I am considering and then asking you a few questions. Is that all right with you? 3/22/04

13 Dialogue, continued…. 3. Brief Background Overview
A. Begin with an upbeat statement “I’ve had (#) rewarding years in (industry/field). My career really began when…. Since then I have worked for companies/organizations ranging from … to … I’m excited about the prospect of choosing the right career. But I must also admit that I am a little nervous about making a well-informed decision…in today’s employment environment. While I don’t have an extensive work history let me share my education and background with you.” B. Brief Reverse Chronology (10-12 yrs) Job title, company, role 3/22/04

14 Dialogue, continued…. 3. Brief background… C. Include Accomplishments
“To give you a better idea of the experience/skills I have let me share a few of the things I’ve done.” State 3 power stories, 40 words Situation, what I did, result D. Career Options under Consideration “Currently, I’m considering several career/industry options, one of which is… And because you have been so successful I appreciate the opportunity to ask you a few questions. I hope you don’t mind if I take some notes while we speak?” 3/22/04

15 Dialogue, continued… 4. Your Questions 5. Resume Feedback (Optional)
7-10 questions, general to specific questions, demonstrate your knowledge “How did you get into this industry?” “What problems/challenges is the industry facing?” “To meet these challenges, what developments/products are underway?” 5. Resume Feedback (Optional) “I realize that you are busy, but would value your opinion of this draft of a resume I have put together which may or may not be appropriate for this industry. Would you consider taking a moment to look at it and let me know what you think?” “Again I realize how busy you are. But, after I make the changes you have suggested and mail them to you, would you spend just a minute or two on the phone with me to let me know if I am on target?” Two reasons for this step: Give resume the way they like to see resumes done More firmly establish them in your career network 3/22/04

16 Dialogue, continued… 6. Ask for Referrals 7. Any Questions?
“Besides yourself, what other experts do you feel that I should talk with, that might be as generous with their time as you have been.” Remain silent for 30 seconds If referral, “May I mention that we have had this conversation?” 7. Any Questions? “name you have been most generous with your time. Before we wrap this up, are there any questions you would like to ask me?” 3/22/04

17 Dialogue, continued… 8. Closing the Interview 9. Thank-you Letter
“Once again I want to thank you for being so generous with your time, would you like me to keep you informed of my progress?” Professional, permission 9. Thank-you Letter 10 mins debrief in car, full critique at home Special note of fit to industry, problems to solve Follow up on action items Stay in contact, NETWORK 3/22/04

18 Who Do I Talk To? NETWORKING Other employees… Scenarios…
Introduction from a mutual acquaintance Referral from last Informational Interview Quoted in article Other employees… target company, competitors, customers, vendors Scenarios… Retail – Customer Service Associate Store Manager, Asst Mgr, Associate, HR Head Field Service Field Supervisor, HR Mgr, Installer/Repairman Engineer VP of Engineering, R&D Mgr, VP of Product Dev, HR Dir 3/22/04

19 Why Would They Talk to Me?
Positioning statement Something of value for them… Share our common experiences… Heard your speech Doing research on an industry, product, service technology… Special report, proposals 3/22/04

20 Getting an Appointment
Direct mail letter No resume Phone call follow up Phone call “Hello Ms. Jones, I am calling you at the suggestion of Bill Smith. He suggested that you would be a good source of information on … I have collected information on the …topic… and would like your opinion. I understand you’re the area expert on this topic. I would like to stop by for 15 or 20 minutes and share this information. Would next Tuesday at 10AM be a good time? … 3/22/04

21 Next Steps… Practice… Match Network List to Company Targets
Name 2 people for this week Make an appointment and rehearse Get feedback Match Network List to Company Targets Name 5 people to interview in 3 weeks Get job 3/22/04

22 Thank You 3/22/04

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