informational-interviewing2 - Informational interviewing...

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32 Occupational Outlook Quarterly ! Summer 2002 ant to know what a career is really like? Ask someone with first-hand experience. Many people wonder anxiously about which type of job they’ll like or how they can break into the career of their dreams. Surprisingly, very few people ever take advantage of one of the best ways to answer their questions about careers: asking the workers already in them. Talking to people about their jobs and asking them for advice is called informa- tional interviewing, a term coined by career counselor and author Richard Bolles. And the technique usually works very well for people exploring careers. Stories abound of students who used informational interviewing to decide between occupations or to find a way to convert their interests to a paying job. Some people who conduct informa- tional interviews discover their dream job isn’t so dreamy after all. They learn the truth in time to change course and find a career that suits them. Others have their career goals confirmed. Informational interviewing can be as simple as striking up conversations with friends and others about their occupa- tions. But to take full advantage of this career exploration tool requires a more methodical approach. Read on to learn the purpose of informational interviewing; whom to interview; how to set up, prepare for, and conduct an interview; and what to do afterward. The what and why of informational interviews An informational interview is a brief meeting between a person who wants to investigate a career and a person working in that career. The interviews usually last 20 to 30 minutes. The purpose of an informational interview is not to get a job. Instead, the goal is to find out about jobs you might like—to see if they fit your interests and personality. Specifically, interviews can help you: " Learn more about the realities of working in a particular occupation; " Decide among different occupations or choose an occupational specialty; " Focus career goals; " Discover careers you never knew existed; " Uncover your professional strengths and weakness; and " Find different ways to prepare for a particular career. Informational interviews also provide an inside look at an organization you may want to work for in the future. And they polish communication skills, helping jobseekers gain confidence and poise before the high-pressure situation of a job interview. Deciding whom to interview Before selecting someone to interview, you’ll need to decide which occupations you want to learn more about. You may already have some ideas about the kinds of work you want to do, but, if you are stymied, consider visiting a career or guidance counselor. He or she can help you to clarify your interests and favorite skills and goals for earnings, work setting, and future education. Career guidance tests also can produce lists of careers that match one’s temperament. Browsing occupational descriptions,
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2012 for the course ENGL 420 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue.

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informational-interviewing2 - Informational interviewing...

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