Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Informative Interview

Applying for jobs has been stressing me out.  I read postings, apply and then nothing.  And I keep at it because I need a job, and eventually something will come through.

Last week I started go a different route. Instead of reading job postings, I researched companies that sort of did what I did.  I looked at their websites and thought all their websites needed help.  Then I came across a company I was familiar with.  The company has a good reputation, so I sent the VP of XYZ Denver an email:

I am writing because I recently relocated from New York to Denver and looking for employment.  XYZ Company is a name I know from New York, with a strong reputation of being a great WXY company.  To find out there is an office out here, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to send an email.  I have over eight years of experience in WWY focusing on item #1 and item #2 and I am a ABC.   

Two paragraphs here that is similar to my cover letter.

I attached my resume so you can become familiar with my work history and see that I would be a valuable addition to your staff.  I look forward to talking to you regarding a position at XYZX Company. 



Shockingly, the man emailed me back the following week stating they did not have any openings as they are a small office, but if I'd like to meet with him for an informative interview, he would be more than happy to meet me.  So I took him up on his offer, went to his office and we chatted for 45 minutes.  He told me a little about the company, pulled up my resume and asked me a few questions, and then I asked him questions about the industry out here and about other resources he thought I should look into.  It was refreshing to speak to somebody who has the same credential as you as well as knows the industry and work it entails.  He said he would keep my resume for a while, and hopes that in a few months they will grow as they take on more clients.  I told him it would be wonderful if he kept me in mind, and that I really appreciated his time and thanked him for responding to my email even if a position was not available.

So bottom line, I cold-emailed a place I knew I wouldn't mind working at, the guy in charge wrote me back, we met...and who knows what may or may not come about in the next year.  I got out of the house, I got dressed in work clothes and I sort of talked about me and my work.  It is great practice, if nothing else.

If you get an informational interview, I suggest you be prepared with questions you can ask them.  To help you get a feel, these were some of the questions I asked:
  • You mentioned XYZ is a small office, how many staff do you have here?   How many clients do you have?
  • Are you actively pursuing finding new clients or is XX a happy number for you?
  • What qualifications do you seek in a new hire?
  • How does XYZ compare to its competitors?
During the course of the 45 minute meeting, a lot was discussed and answers to questions are automatically answered if they are too basic, so it is good to do your research and have 'harder' questions so you at least ask something, after all you are there to get leads, learn more, and make a connection.

When I got to the car and checked my email, I had an email asking me for an interview midweek...so off to the library to do more job-related searches and research to prepare.  I hope the interviews continue as that is good enough motivation to keep going! and/or a job is offered...keep those fingers crossed.

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