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The 2 master networker tips that can transform your informational interviews

network your way into a job, networking while job seeking, network like a pro, asking influential people out for a coffee, asking influential people out to lunch,
Ask interview subjects out for coffee
or lunch.
Informational interviews (meetings you set up with people to learn more about their industry or company) can be a dynamite way to learn valuable insider scoop, make critical connections and find out about job openings.

Master networkers use two tips to maximize their informational interviews … now you can, too.

Master networker tip 1:
Invite informational interview subjects out for coffee or lunch.

Getting a person away from their office to a nearby restaurant or coffee house benefits you three ways:

• It lets these important connections know you think highly enough about their time and advice to spend money on them.

• It gets them away from their office environment and work stresses so they can speak more comfortably with you.

• It shows them you have the confidence and networking stature to orchestrate such a successful event. Exuding this type of confidence can go a long way toward convincing them you are a person they can recommend for open positions.

Of course, not every interview subject will take you up on your offer to meet them away from their office, but asking them lets them know you know how to play the networking game like a pro.

How to set up and hosting an effective informational interview over coffee or a meal. 

Master networker tip 2:
Bring a secret weapon to informational interviews.

I often meet with job seekers over a Career Launch Lunch who are clients of a well known area career coach. I can always spot these job seekers because they each provide me with a single-sided piece of paper to kick start our lunch discussion. The paper contains a quick overview of who they are, what they've accomplished, the types of jobs they want, and a list of target companies where they’d like to work. They leave a blank next to each target company so I can fill it in if I know a useful contact who works there who might be willing to meet them for an informational interview.

This technique of listing target companies is a smart strategy for these job seekers because it helps their informational interview subjects think of useful contacts who they might otherwise not have thought of. These job seekers jot down the names I mention and then follow up with me soon after to either ask me to send the contact a note of introduction on their behalf or to request the contacts’ phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc., so they can reach out to them directly.

Create your own Informational Interview Success Sheet by following the steps below. Or, visit my LinkedIn profile and scroll way down to the Samples section to download a free Informational Interview Success Sheet and other helpful job seeker resources (or for just this sheet, click here). Simply chose to open or save selected documents when prompted. If you haven’t invited me to connect yet on LinkedIn, please do. I will accept and then you can not only access these useful materials, but ask me questions or let me know how I can help you.


Informational Interview Success Sheet
Name: Degrees, certification abbreviations (if applicable) Example: Bill Brown, MBA, CPA

Contact information: (phone number, e-mail address and address)


Power statement: Summarize boldly what you offer professionally. Use this same statement on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Sales leader skilled at achieving goals and motivating sales teams.
An accomplished treasurer who approaches challenges with common sense solutions.

Proof points: State your most valuable experiences and skills to prove your power statement.

Background includes extensive experience in executive speech writing, public relations, etc. …
Proven track record in energizing under-performing organizations, mergers and acquisitions, etc.

Key Accomplishments:

Company 1:
Include the company name and city, your title while there, and your years of service

• Accomplishment 1:
Include a quantifiable accomplishment (% saved, $ raised, number trained, etc.) and how you did it.

24% sales increase by implementing point-of-purchase displays.
$210,000 in reduced costs by maximizing efficiencies.
• Accomplishment 2:

Company 2:
• Accomplishment 1:
• Accomplishment 2:

Examples: Six Sigma black belt, negotiations, cash flow forecasting, customer service, proficient in Microsoft Word, etc.

List companies and then ask your informational interview subject to suggest a company contact.

Example: XYZ Corp.  -- Company Contact: (leave blank)_________________

Ask your informational interview subject to suggest companies and contacts within those companies.

Example: Company: (leave blank) Company Contact: (leave blank)


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  1. "
    Getting a person away from their office"

    Making thinks informal always helps.

  2. Formal is definitely another good approach however.


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