How to have a kick ass informational interview

Have you heard of the saying “your network is your net worth?” If you want to really maximize your job search, you’ll take advantage of coffee meeting networking (also known as informational interviews) in order to grow your network.

This isn’t just a cliche saying, it’s also true that 80% of jobs are not advertised online. Therefore, those jobs are typically obtained through “who you know.”

Here are the rules of the coffee networking game:

  • Be flexible: CTO’s and Co-Founders are excellent people to meet up with, but they also have insane schedules (more often than not.) With that in mind, be flexible and understanding of folks’ schedules. If it comes down to it, hop on a phone call to make it easier on them. PRO TIP: use MixMax to send them your availability that is a clickable link.

 

  • Don’t go in for the kill: your e-mail to ask this person to chat with you over coffee should not be

I saw that your company has an opening for a Salesforce Developer and I’d love to buy you a coffee and chat more about how I can potentially join your team.

That screams “give me a job” and “I will pay for your coffee so that you will get me a job”

  • No brain picking: Seriously, the lazy networker will say “can we grab coffee so that I can pick your brain about what it’s like to work in _______ industry?” It shows that you don’t really know much about the person you’re wanting to meet with and you might just waste their time with templated questions. Bring meaningful, thoughtful questions to the table and make it clear what you want to meet about.

 

  • Be excited about the company and the person you’re meeting with: these people you’re meeting with are taking time out of their day to sit down and chat with you. Be sure you’re showing enthusiasm about what the company does and who the individual is that is sitting in front of you. Do your research and be specific. If you know they’re working on a new product, ask about it! If you’ve heard they have specific cultural practices, ask about them! Have questions prepared both for the person you’re talking with (about their career path, roles and responsibilities) and about the organization/team.

 

  • Steer the conversation: Want to have a clear outline for what you’ll talk about? Download our informational interview roadmap below!