When was the last time you did an informational interview? Contacting someone you may not already know to learn about what they do, and how their company works, can be an eye-opening opportunity. You can gain important information about the work you want to do, and learn about the culture of the place you hope to work at. Many of you have already done this kind of interview – from either side of the table – interviewer or interviewee. Some people, like me, love doing these interviews, and others, while they know it could be very valuable for them, are uncomfortable reaching out to talk with a stranger. While I really love doing these, I haven’t done one in a while so I decided to reach out and talk to a variety of people in hiring positions to learn more about what’s happening in hiring, and to be able to share this information with clients and other readers.
I had the opportunity to talk with someone who does a lot of hiring at an advertising agency with offices in Southern California. She graciously talked with me for about 20 minutes, the usual amount of time that we’ll be able to get from a busy professional who’s willing to help out. I was ready with my questions and she with answers. Below, read some of the most pressing questions my clients and I wonder about.