Success! You've reached out to someone in the industry to grow your network and they said yes. Now what?
Here are some of my favorite questions to ask on an informational interview (AKA a coffee chat or networking meeting)
- What does a typical day look like for you?
- What's your favorite/least favorite part of your day?
- How's your work life balance?
- What's a trait or skill that would really make someone stand out in this field?
- What kinds of companies have you worked for? How are they different?
- After having worked for different companies, what do you look for in a good company? What are some red flags you've seen?
- Is there anything you wish you knew about the _____ industry?
- What was the hardest part for you to land your first job in ___?
- How did you land your first job (in this field)?
- How has the industry changed from when you got started?
- What surprised you most about this job?
- What kind of skills are the most important for someone in this job?
Informational interviews and networking are the absolute key to getting a job these days. It can feel scary to talk to people you don't know, but it will get easier each time you do it.
You'll be more equipped in interviews because you'll know more about the industry.
And who knows, if you build strong relationships, they might be open to referring you in the future.