Are you worried about obtaining employment after graduation? Increasing your odds by utilizing the Information Interview

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
If you ever go hiking, you know that there are many different ways to hike up to the top of the mountain. As a college student, you are seen as a beginning hiker. You stand at the bottom of the mountain and think how high that mountain is and try to image how some people even make it up there or get very close to the top. Remember, the people who are up on top of the mountain or who are getting close to the top, they were in your shoes before, they understand exactly the feeling and the emotions that you have. Reach out to them for help and support through the information interview. Use the information interview as an opportunity to ask them which path did they take to get to where they are today? What were the biggest challenges that they faced when they took that path…etc? All of this information is extremely important as it will help you determine which path you will need to take in order to hike up to the top of the mountain. Remember, when you choose a path, you don’t have to stay on that path forever. If you interview one hundred people and choose ten paths that interest you, then keep those ten paths in your mind when you do your hiking. Each path has its own unique pattern and not every path is better than others. “All roads take you to Rome,” if you start out with one path and recognize that that path is not working well for you, then continue your hike with another path. The most important thing is to CONTINUE and not GIVE UP. As long as you continue hiking up, you will make it to the top soon or later.

Submitted: March 17, 2012

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Submitted: March 17, 2012

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Throughout our childhood, we often heard our parents and people around us said: “You have to go to college in order to get a good job.” Today, with the unstable economy and marked recession, it seems that going to college or having a college degree might not be enough to obtain gainful employment.

Many of you have mixed feelings upon your college graduation: happiness and anxiety. You are happy because now that you are finally done with all of your studies, homework, group projects, and exams, but at the same time, you are facing the anxiety about finding employment after your graduation.

Planning

Whether you're months or years away from graduation or planning on graduating, it's important to have a plan. Start early if you can, if not, it’s not too late. When you start out your career planning, here are a few questions you’ll have to consider in order to help you identify which direction you need to go to pursue your career:

  • What kind of business industries do you want to work for?

  • What kind of career do you want to have?

  • Where do you want to live?

When you know the type of business you want to work for, which jobs you would like to have and where would you like to live, you can then start searching for companies and careers that would meet your expectations.

Information Interview

This is the most valuable tool that you can use throughout your career. It is not only when you are thinking about obtaining a new job after your graduation, you can use this tool when you want to lean more about a certain career move or any other subjects you want increase your professional knowledge in.

What is the information interview?

The Information Interview is a great way to help you learn more about a specific company, a specific job, or any other subjects that you want to know. The Information Interview is a highly focused information gathering session with a network contact designed to help you choose or refine your career path by giving you the “insider's" point of view. Remember, an Information Interview is NOT a job interview. The first rule of informational interviews is: do not ask for a job.

Benefits of the Information Interview

  • Gives you insightful information about a field you are interested in

  • Introduces you to other careers that you may not have previously considered.

  • Allows evaluation of whether the career is compatible with your skills, interests, life-style and goals.

  • You will receive specific suggestions on how and where to acquire the experience and knowledge that is required for the field.

  • Develops confidence in interviewing with professionals by discussing your interests and goals.

  • Gains access to the hidden job market.

  • Gives you the opportunity to share information about yourself with your “future employer” in a professional manner.

How to find people to interview

Your goal is to find people who work in the industries, businesses or organizations that interest you. I did mine by calling people from the yellow pages in the phone book, and looked them up from their website. Keep in mind, it is possible the person you called/email may turn your information interview request down due to various reasons. If the person declines your information interview request, don’t get upset or feel negative, respect their boundaries. Don’t set up too high of an expectation that everyone you call or e-mail will says “yes” to your request. If you are lucky you might get three “yeses” out of ten phone calls/emails. If the person accepts, select a time and location that works for both of you (you should have a calendar right in front of you).

Preparation before you come to the information interview

  • Do your homework: Research about your interviewee’s accomplishments and their company. LinkedIn, Google, and other professional networking websites are a great source of information on industry professionals. Ask questions about their accomplishments. Show them that you are aware of their career accomplishments and education.

  • Be prepared: Ask thoughtful questions. For example: What is the best way to enter this field? What are the major qualifications for success in this field? Which skills and abilities are most valued in this field? Do you have any special advice for someone entering this field? What is a typical career path in this field? What are the advancement opportunities in this field?

  • Dress professional

  • Be on time

  • Bring a pad of paper and a pen to take notes

Follow up

You should show respect and graciousness by sending an email or a brief hand-written note to thank the person for taking time out of their day to meet with you. I prefer a hand written note as this shows a more personal connection between you and your interviewers.

Conclusion

If you ever go hiking, you know that there are many different ways to hike up to the top of the mountain. As a college student, you are seen as a beginning hiker. You stand at the bottom of the mountain and think how high that mountain is and try to image how some people even make it up there or get very close to the top. Remember, the people who are up on top of the mountain or who are getting close to the top, they were in your shoes before, they understand exactly the feeling and the emotions that you have. Reach out to them for help and support through the information interview. Use the information interview as an opportunity to ask them which path did they take to get to where they are today? What were the biggest challenges that they faced when they took that path…etc? All of this information is extremely important as it will help you determine which path you will need to take in order to hike up to the top of the mountain. Remember, when you choose a path, you don’t have to stay on that path forever. If you interview one hundred people and choose ten paths that interest you, then keep those ten paths in your mind when you do your hiking. Each path has its own unique pattern and not every path is better than others. “All roads take you to Rome,” if you start out with one path and recognize that that path is not working well for you, then continue your hike with another path. The most important thing is to CONTINUE and not GIVE UP. As long as you continue hiking up, you will make it to the top soon or later.

Good luck to all with your hikes and hope you make it to the top soon. Thanks for reading.

Son Le Hughes – Eugene, Oregon USA


© Copyright 2020 Son Le Hughes. All rights reserved.

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