An informational interview is a tool that many job hunters in the Hotel industry neglect to use, but should. A mixture of a networking opportunity, an advice seeking session and a job interview, an informational interview can give you a morale boost and great inside information if you’re considering a job or a new career.
Opportunities to go to informational interviews don’t come easily. They aren’t advertised. In most cases, you need to work hard to get someone in a position of power to talk to you. Here are tips on how to make informational interviews happen.
Pick the people that you want to sit down with
Make a list of the hotel properties that you wish you could work at. Think about what your dream role at these companies would be, and pick the person in the company who currently holds that position. Usually, you won’t be able to get a CEO or CFO to sit down with you. You may need to go with someone who is in middle management according to KO Coaching.
It’s usually easy to get an interview with someone that you share a connection with. If you went to the same college as the person that you want to ask, it would make your job easier. You can use LinkedIn to find the right alumni or others to contact.
Write the perfect email
Sending out a cold email asking for an informational interview requires some preparation.
People often appreciate a chance to help others. For this reason, it would make sense to open with a request for help. When you write, you need to make clear how much time you’re asking for. Suggesting an interview over a cup of coffee helps make sure that they understand you aren’t asking for too much time.
It’s important to personalize your request, and make clear why you picked them. Perhaps you’ve studied their career and admire what they do. You must talk about your reasons.
An informational interview is not a direct path to a job. For this reason, you need to say, when you write, that you aren’t suggesting an interview as a way to find employment. You need to state in direct terms that you’re only trying to learn about the industry and about a specific kind of career.
It can take time for a busy manager to get around to all their messages, and reply to them. For this reason, it’s a good idea to wait a week for a reply. You can then write a polite reminder, asking them if they found the time to review your email. It’s important to be pleasantly insistent on a reply, without being pushy. Usually, you will hear from them before long.
Once you snag an opportunity to conduct an informational interview with a professional of your choice, your next step should be to prepare well for the interview. You need to think about the questions that you will ask, and how you will make the most of the interview. If you prepare well, you’ll come away with information that you can make practical use of advancing in your career.
An informational interview gives you an opportunity to gain valuable insight into how your chosen career works. It is helpful to talk to expert with an insider’s point of view. It’s also a good way to get started in your new career.