Google “job interviews are…” and auto-complete will supplement you with these highly constructive descriptors: “stupid”, “a waste of time”, “stressful” and “bullshit”. These are popular, loudly vocalized and rather incorrect opinions of frustrated, job hunting Googlers. Type in “informational interviews are…”, however, and you will get the words “important” and “useful”. Opinions of the cool, collected and wise.
Job interviews are an obligatory part of seeking employment. It’s a sweaty, anxiety ridden roller coaster- one wrong move, and you’re off the ride. Informational interviews, on the other hand, are optional and rarely taken advantage of. Instead of competing with hundreds of applicants, it’s you and an expert in your career field, having a voluntary conversation on a topic of mutual interest. Your interviewee will be able to pass on their wisdom, you will gain a new connection, and if you play it right, that connection might even turn into your future boss! Check out 5 Reasons Informational Interviews are Important to find out what else is in it for you. You may still face one of those pesky job interviews down the line, but being able to drop the name of a higher-up and refer back to your interview will give you a much-deserved leg up.