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Informational Interview?

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An informational interview is simply talking with professionals who are currently in occupations or industries that are considering in order to gaining information and insights about a career, industry, or company.

This information can be used in deciding a major, exploring career options, or preparing for a summer or professional job search.

Informational interviews are an important division of career preparation and a good supplement to academic knowledge because they can provide:

  1. ''Real world'' information about careers
  2. Suggestions on how to utilize your college years to gain experience and plan for the job search
  3. A network of contacts for your job, and internship search
  4. Insights into employers impression in candidates
  5. An opportunity to explore potential job search questions such as: ''Why did you choose this field?'' or ''What are your skills for this job?''
Before requesting the valuable time of a professional, it is better to learn by researching as much as possible information about the career or industry, to ask more in-depth questions and make better use of the time with that person.

If it is just beginning to sort through career options, it is required to speak with a Career Coach at the Career Center to better define which careers most want to explore. It can get started by completing the online ICAP form and start during their Coaching Assessment hours.

Informational interviews can be conducted with people who already know or with professionals referred through informal contacts: faculty, family, friends, alumni, professional associations, and the Career Center staff etc. It is better to consult the Alumni Relations Office website about events of Vanderbilt Alumni organizations and other opportunities for networking. To recognize other leads, browse recent and back issues of the Vanderbilt Alumni Magazine, this includes alumni career information. The Career Center website links to an online social network. It can also be obtained through ''cold calls''.
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 informational interviews  preparation  professionals  academic field  knowledge  job searches  internships  professional associations  career centers  contacts

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