Lily Zhang | The Muse | 6/19/2020
Let’s say you managed the tricky process of asking for an informational interview (and yes, we’ve got tips for that, too) and have succeeded in arranging a meeting with an amazing contact.
What now? How do you make the most of this conversation—while still keeping things casual and comfortable?
As always, it’s just a matter of being prepared. Here’s a three-part process for your next meeting that’ll make sure you get the advice you need and make a great impression.
1. Warm Up
People love to talk about themselves, so when you first sit down, let them! Get the conversation going by asking your contact something about his or her experiences thus far—something he or she knows all about. Some good places to begin:
- How did you get your start in this field?
- What’s it like working at your company?
- What projects are you working on right now?
- What’s your opinion on [exciting development in the industry]?
You should also be prepared to chat about yourself, your past experiences, and your career goals. Remember, this meeting isn’t just a time to ask for advice and learn from your contact’s experiences—it’s also a chance to make an impression. For example, don’t be afraid to preface your questions with what you already know. Something like, “It looks like recent developments in the field of nuclear fission are going to be pretty disruptive to the energy industry. How do you think this will affect your company?”