“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” ~John Assaraf
If you want to level up your networking approach, you have to use the right tools and approach.
The #1 tool I’ve found to create meaningful relationships is clear: informational interviews!
In just a few minutes, you can take a first contact from email, social media, or other networking source and turn it into a more personal relationship. It really can be transformational.
Not only have I seen jobs, business partners, mentors, and friends start from these first conversations, but there is simply so much to be learned!
Wait, What is an Informational Interview?
For those who might be unfamiliar, let’s step back for a moment.
Informational interviews are in-person, video, or phone conversations with people, where you have an opportunity to interview them for the purpose of gaining information.
There is no set agenda. It’s truly an opportunity to give, be curious, learn, and build a relationship.
Usually, I recommend scheduling 15-30 minutes, but if things go well it is not uncommon for conversations to go longer than an hour (just don’t expect that).
How Do I Conduct an Informational Interview?
First of all, prepare. Why are you wanting to talk to this person in the first place? What do you want to know about them, their work history, their company, etc?
So make a list of questions you want to ask this person and be ready to adjust according to how the conversation goes.
Secondly, be ready to talk about yourself, at least briefly. You should at least be able to clearly answer questions such as, “tell me about yourself” and “why would you want to work for my company?”
This is an opportunity to practice communicating your personal brand! See if people respond well to how you share things about yourself.
The biggest thing to remember with informational interviews is to focus on the other person. Focus on being interested in them – if you do this, they might just find you interesting!
Going out to ask for and conduct informational interviews is outside of the comfort zone for many of us – but how are we supposed to grow our network and relationships unless we talk to people? This is where it starts.
Try it this week!
See more in the video below!
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