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In the recent weeks, I’ve been asked to do a ton of informational interviews and as much as I try to impart some helpful advice, I want to be sure that people who talk with me understand that there are lots more “in the know” people than me who can provide insight and if they came to their informational interview as unprepared as they were with me, they would never grant another coffee again. I just don’t have the time to sit with people who don’t bother to do some basic research about my work or about me. It’s as simple as doing a Google/pick your favorite search engine inquiry. My electronic profile isn’t crazy but you get the gist of my work as well as my biography. So when I walk into a coffee because I’m doing a favor for a friend, I’m not the one getting anything out of it except knowing that I’m helping someone. I may find your narrative interesting as you tell me your career goals but the basic questions of “what I do” can be easily found on the internet(s). I’m not puffing my ego just to be one of those people but I hope people asking for information do a better job in asking more researched questions. Just to prove that I’m not crazy about having an attitude about it, this week’s edition of Tuesday Truths is directed solely to informational interviews:
Take these articles seriously. Every single person who I met with were extremely intelligent people and it saddens me when people aren’t doing the basics. Whether you’re learning about breaking into a field or trying to connect with people to get more information about working in a particular organization, people will remember those who went beyond the basics during these coffees. As one of the articles mentioned, you’re not interviewing for a job but you’re still “on”. If you know your colleagues are making these mistakes, please help them correct their behavior.
Consider this my Public Service Announcement for the week 🙂
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