More thoughts on informational interviews

I often describe informational interviews as the secret sauce” in an effective job search.

Most of my clients are really intimidated by these meetings.

I’ll tell you what I tell them.

If someone approached you and said, “I really admire the work that you do. I am looking to enter into your field. Would you mind if I bought you coffee and asked you for some advice?”

“My guess is that if you had time you’d probably say “of course!” People generally really enjoy giving advice.

And that’s exactly what your asking for in an informational interview. ADVICE. Not a job.

But here’s the thing…when you land the meeting, you are going to build rapport and the person on the other side of the table will become invested in you. Company’s do not like to hire “strangers”. According to data from SHRM, internal sources ultimately produced 52 percent of hires in 2016.


  • Sarah Johnston

    I’m a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. I have relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and have had to execute job searches in completely cold markets (where I literally knew no one!) I have been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space in 2019, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

Sarah Johnston

Sarah Johnston is a former corporate recruiter and industry "insider" with a passion for empowering high-achievers in their career journeys. Frustrated by talented individuals being overlooked due to ineffective marketing documents and interview strategies, Sarah made it her mission to equip professionals with the tools and knowledge to succeed. As a seasoned "trailing spouse" who relocated multiple times, she understands the challenges of executing job searches in unfamiliar markets. Sarah's expertise and impact have earned her recognition as a LinkedIn Top Voice in 2019 and a spot on HR Weekly's Top 100 Most Influential People in HR. Her resume writing firm has been acclaimed as the best for experienced executives by Balance Careers, while JobScan listed her as a top follow in 2019 and 2020.

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