Updated: May 30, 2021
TIPS FOR OBTAINING AN INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW
People are more likely to make time for you if introduced through someone they know. Include the name of your common connection in the subject line to capture their attention. This will prompt your target to open the message. Be sure to mention the name of the connection again in the email explaining why they encouraged you to reach out.
A 10 MIN CONVERSATION WORKS FINE
Let's face people are busy! When requesting an informational interview, you are more likely to get more responses by requesting a brief conversation, versus a lengthier amount of time. This is true for conversations held whether in person, over coffee or zoom call.
EXPRESS WHAT YOU WANT
In your email, be sure to express what you want. You can say things such like,
I want to learn more about your profession and job prospects in the industry.
I’d like to hear about your career and your experience working at Acme Corp.
I’m looking to make connections in the field.
Being specific in expressing your goal or purpose, helps you secure the other person’s time. It also makes it much easier for your target to actually help you when you do meet.
EMAIL DRAFT SAMPLE
SUBJECT LINE: Request for Informational Interview / Writing at Suggestion of John Doe.
Dear Mr. Smith,
I am exploring opportunities in nonprofit fundraising in Portland. As you can see from the attached resume, I’ve had considerable experience creating and leading successful development programs in Oregon and other states. John thought you would be a good source of information about the nonprofit fundraising scene in Portland, upcoming jobs in the field, and other people I might contact.
I’m hoping you might have 15 to 30 minutes to meet with me in the next few weeks. Please let me know if this might be possible and what dates and times are most convenient for you. I look forward to hearing from you.
First Initial, Last Name