The 6 Most Common Mistakes Made During Informational Interviews

Informational Interview MistakesInformational interviews are an excellent way to gain insight about your future career direction. However, if done wrong, these interviews can easily ruin a good networking opportunity… and your chance to land a job with that company.

If you’re approaching an informational interview, here are the six most common mistakes to avoid:

1. Not Following Up After the Interview

Don’t let the professional think you disappeared into thin air after the informational interview. Many don’t realize how important the connection they make with the professional during the interview is. Even worse, saying you’re going to follow-up (and then don’t) will negatively impact your personal brand.

2. Not Preparing a List of Questions to Ask the Interviewer

An informational interview is just as important as a real job interview. This is an opportunity for you to learn everything you could possibly want to know about your future career. From drilling the professional with questions about how they achieve work-life balance to asking them about the most rewarding parts of their career, be sure to have a list of at least 10 questions to ask during the interview.

3. Unprofessional Attire

Don’t show up to the interview in your khakis, tennis shoes, and a polo. When you arrive to the interview, make sure you are dressed to impress. You can never overdress for an informational interview, so when in doubt, wear appropriate business professional attire.

4. Not Bringing Business Cards

While business cards aren’t a necessity, business cards serve as a great networking tool and will make it easier for the professional you interview to stay in touch. Business cards also helps you look like a driven young, budding professional in your industry.

5. Giving the Interviewer Your Resume

While it may seem like a good idea to give the interviewer your resume after the interview… don’t do it. (Unless they specifically request it, of course!) When you give the professional your resume, it makes it appear as if the purpose of the informational interview wasn’t informational at all, but to seek internship or job opportunities.

6. Asking the Interviewer for an Internship or Job

Just because you attend an informational interview doesn’t mean you are entitled to a position at the company. So never ask the interviewer if they will hire you for an internship or job. Never. No matter how much you need one, don’t plan on walking out the door with an opportunity handed to you.

Informational interviews play an essential role in determining your career path. The earlier you can perform informational interviews – preferably while you’re still in college – the sooner you can discover your passions. As long as you are aware of these informational interview mistakes, you will be on your way to making valuable connections and gaining useful knowledge (and contacts!).





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OliviaAbout the Author: Olivia Adams is a Content Creator Trainee at Come Recommended. She is a junior at Ferris State University studying public relations and Spanish. Olivia is a member of Ferris State PRSSA and has gained experience in public relations, social media, and writing through her multiple internships and writing focused jobs.



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