As a person looking for a job or doing research to find out more about a new career, informational interviews are great places to start learning.
According to Wikipedia, an informational interview is a meeting in which potential job seekers seek advice on their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future work place. An informational interview is not a job interview; it is a meeting where a job seeker is given the opportunity to learn about a specific job from a person who is working in that field.
It is an excellent source of information about an occupation and career opportunities.
The benefits of an informational interview include job seekers:
- gain information about an industry or a specialized field
- find out about jobs and career paths
- are given tips about a job, how and when to apply and even the name of best person to speak with
- learn about the culture and information of a specific company
- can ask questions for feedback about skills and education that are beneficial
A great benefit of an informational interview is that they are not job interviews, so they are less stressful. An employee can casually discuss the daily activities of a job and learn more about an industry.
Arranging an informational interview may be tricky if you are new to the industry. A couple of great sources to professionals in an industry are LinkedIn, as well as Google. Asking for a referral from friends, family, alumni or a past instructor are also great ways to expand your network.
People are busy so don’t be upset if a person doesn’t have time to speak to you. It is a numbers game so arrange for several informational interviews to get the face time you are seeking.
As the person looking for the inside edge on a company or job, be organized and prepared for the meeting.
Here are a few tips to conduct a professional Informational Interview:
- Be prompt and keep the conversation brief – 15 – 30 minutes
- Dress as you would in a job interview
- Research the person as well as company you are meeting with
- Arrive with questions and a pen and paper to make notes
- Always be polite and thank the person you are meeting with
At an informational interview, job seekers learn about qualifications and skills required to know if they are heading down the right career path.
Here are a few sample questions to ask:
- Tell me about your daily activities?
- Tell me about your career journey and how it has led to your current position?
- What are a couple of tips that you would offer someone starting their career?
- What education or classes are most valuable in your job?
- What opportunities are there for advancement?
- What are the most important skills for a successful employee to have?
- What are the typical salaries and benefits in this industry?
- How often does your firm hire?
- Is there anyone else you think would be a good person to meet?
Informational interviews are a great source of information so that you can up your game.
Now that you have this, we wish you success!
Move over Millennials, make way for Generation Z!
Gen Z – Who are they?
They are the generation born after 1995 and they are entering the workforce now.
By the end of 2020, Stats Canada estimates that Gen Z will account for 20% of the workforce.
Wikipedia defines Generation Z as the demographic cohort succeeding the Millennials (GenY). Demographers use the mid-1990s as birth years to current 1996 to 2015.
They are the children of Gen X, and Millennials. This up and coming generation are sometimes call the Digital Natives as they were born with technology and are extremely tech savvy.
Generation Z employees are hardworking and loyal.
If you want to attract and hire this generation of employees here are a few things to consider:
- They like technology and video. They know and appreciate online presence. They spend their time on YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram; they effectively engage with social media. They know cloud computing.
- They care about culture, honesty, and diversity. For example, they are inclusive with all groups. It is all they know as normal. They are comfortable with diversity – it’s what they experience daily. A few key examples are gender neutral bathrooms, LGBTQ+, and equal pay.
- They want work life balance. This includes stability, job safety, long term employment, and flexibility to work hard and advance in their careers.
Here are few things to think about when you are recruiting and hiring this Gen Z group:
- Optimize employment postings for mobile applications. Social media is where it is at.
- Use videos, skype, and online recruitment strategies. Videos and Instagram stories are great and this group loves them.
- Keep the application process simple for employees to send their resumes. Also, keepprospective employees informed throughout the steps of the hiring process.
- Financial stability is important for this generation. They will want to know pay and benefits before even applying. Benefits can be very diverse to include things such as transit accessibility or parking, medical, dental, and extended health coverage, RRSP contribution plans and food perks.
- Showcase your company’s culture as well as health and wellness spending. Corporate team involvement can include corporate healthy lunches, yoga, fitness challenges as well as company supported volunteer efforts.
- Identify corporate growth and advancement opportunities. In job postings, show opportunities for personal and professional advancement for career development. This can include education courses and programs (re-invest in your employees), as well as advancement opportunities to other departments. Lastly tell stories about employees who have progressed as well as your development in your career. Highlight employee’s success.
- Allow Gen Z the ability to work independently. They are not afraid to use Google or YouTube to learn. They will want the opportunity to work from home.
Given the right opportunities, Gen Z will remain loyal to your company while having a stable work-life balance.
And when you give them free reign, they’re not just capable of thinking outside the box, but also reinventing it, making them a huge asset to your business.
Make sure you have the right strategies in place and sure enough, you’ll make Gen Z love working for you and with you.
Becoming a master at anything requires last focus, awareness and positive action daily. Mastering your mindset to be ready and prepared for the job search or a job interview is no different. Interviewing takes practice.
If you don’t quite know where to start check out some of the tips from the recruiters at Career Contacts for ultimate success.
- Spend 20 minutes the day before a job interview and practice answering the questions that you think may be asked. You will probably be correct 80% of the time. Be prepared to provide examples through story telling. Here is an example of this.
- At the interview, focus on the interviewer – sit up straight and use eye contact. Listen to the conversation; be in the moment.
- Smile and enjoy yourself. Your smile will show confidence and your interest in the employment opportunity. It is important to show commitment in the opportunity that you are being interviewed for as well as others that my come available.
- Show passion for your work. If your work is meaningful to you, you work life will be a joy. Think about a task you are proud of at your last job and express it in the interview.
- Practice is the only true way to master a new skill. Be patient with yourself while your learn something new, such as interviewing. Express your want for growth and learning at the interview.
- Surround yourself with positive people and you will have a positive outcome. Supporting your team members and their ideas show the interviewer that you support the growth of your team.
- Be prepared with questions about the company as well as the position. (Do not ask about pay – this should be discussed when there is a job offer)
- Dress professionally no matter what position you are being interviewed for. This will leave a good impression and make you feel more comfortable.
- Be cautious of body language and eye contact. Strong eye contact and good posture show confidence.
Everyone is on track with work, employment opportunities and ultimately career advancement. Be prepared for opportunities in or at work to move you to grow personally and professionally.