When you find a job listing you’re interested in, what do you do? You scan the job ad, and if you’re me, you’re already envisioning how your life would be better if you had that job and subsequently making a checklist of the things you’ll need to address in your cover letter & resume. Sound familiar? Especially when I see a job that is super tempting – maybe it’s the exact job title I’m looking for, or a group with whom I’ve been wanting to work or for work I think I’d be great at – it’s tempting, sometimes impossible, to not get ahead of ourselves. After all, you’ve already decided it’s time to find work, got your search query all built, and now found something very intriguing. Here’s where I constantly have to remind myself to take a step back, take it down a notch. There’s a step in between reading the job listing and jotting down what needs to go in your cover letter.
Yesterday, I posted about something you can and should do when exploring a new career: an informational interview. But that post only covered how to schedule the interview. You still need to know what to ask during an informational interview. So let’s get started. Why do an Informational Interview? This is a low-stakes way for you to meet someone in a different career, explore how they got into that work, and get a snapshot of a typical workday. In other words, the point of an informational interview is to give you more data points on whether it might be a career that suits you and warrants more exploration.