Informational Interview; the real blog

Almost exactly one year ago, I started to write a blog about informational interviews and it turned into a blog about turtles. *

I’m back into the informational interview phase.  This time around, the focus is networking for people who will actually hire me, as opposed to taking on an intern, so the entire process is more intensive.

I’ve done two so far in this round; one at a coffee shop and one in an imposing office on Peachtree.  Following some good advice, my current strategy as I approach these meetings is to keep them short and to the point, and to get names of other people to meet.  Then I contact those people for informational interviews, and so forth.

The whole process is really uncomfortable; emailing people I don’t know, then asking them for their time (which is probably worth a pretty substantial amount of money) and the names of their contacts.  It feels a little pushy.  Then there’s the part where you have the meeting; including the adventure of finding the place, making sure you get there on time, looking right, presenting well, and avoiding putting your foot in your mouth.  I had a Coos County girl moment this morning on my way to the aforementioned Peachtree office.

I went in to the lobby and walked confidently across the lobby, the click of my heels echoing off the marble tiles and glass walls.  I breezed by the front desk with a confident smile and went to the elevators.  There I found a bank of elevators for floors 14-25.  Then another bank for the floors above that.  I went back to front desk and asked them how to get to the third floor.  They looked at me a bit blankly.  Then one asked where I was trying to go.  I said, “Suite 3500”.  He did not laugh at me, bless his heart, but said that would be the second bank of elevators, on the 35th floor.

Oh right.  Because buildings on Peachtree can have 35 floors.  Or more.

These are the moments I realize I’m not as cosmopolitan as I’d like to pretend, no matter how impressively my heels click on the marble.

At any rate -the actual interview went very well.  In fact, both interviews I’ve been on have been good experiences.  In both situations, I didn’t even need my carefully prepared questions – the people I met with offered their advice freely, and volunteered contacts and introductions.  Even better than that, I genuinely enjoyed meeting both of them.  I mean, they were not just helpful, but fun conversations; and interesting people.

So, hooray for the informational interview.  So far, so good.


*If you have time, its kind of fun to stop and think about how the two subjects could possibly be connected.