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Monday, October 27, 2008


How is networking different from information interviewing?
Information interviewing is a piece of the networking process. In an information interview you have the opportunity to explore your field of interest through a structured conversation with someone already working in that field.
What do I need to know to have a successful information interview?
Sometimes the phrase “information interviewing” may sound uninviting to your network contacts as it sounds very similar to an “interview” for an employment position. You may wish to ask for an “information meeting” instead. Please remember to use the information interview as an opportunity to gather information and seek advice, not to ask outright for an internship or employment opportunity. It is often appropriate, however, to ask the person you speak with for advice on ways you might pursue employment or internship opportunities in your field of interest and give specifics about your search.
Getting Ready
Before you jump into this valuable exercise, you will need to have a solid understanding of who you are (self-assessment) and a basic understanding of your fields of interest (career exploration). If you have not explored these issues, please see a Career Services staff member to begin this process. Once you have started the career planning process, information interviewing can be extremely valuable. On the following page is a list of steps to help you arrange your information interviews.
Steps for Arranging your Information Interviews
1. Compile a list of questions that you would like answered
• There are sample questions at the end of this handout.
• Questions can also come from your self-assessment and career exploration activities.
• Try to use open-ended questions.
2. Arrange a meeting time
• Arrange a mutually convenient location or time. Try to meet the individual at his or her office, if possible.
• If the meeting is arranged in a public place, remember to provide a picture or professional description of yourself, so the professional can find you.
• A phone conversation is also appropriate. However, if in differing time zones, make sure to confirm the time he or she is available to talk.
3. Be prepared when you meet
• Prioritize your list of questions.
• Start with a topic that is easy to discuss and build rapport.
• Remember to listen! Avoid interrupting the person speaking.
• Make brief notes during the conversation.
• Give the professional the opportunity to ask you questions at the end of the conversation.
4. Send a thank you note
• Thank the professional for setting aside time to meet with you
• Mention one or two things that really stood out as valuable information that you gained

How do I start on Networking

How do I start ????
Be Yourself!
It is completely natural to feel a little nervous talking with professionals you have never met. But, have confidence in the communication skills you have gained through classroom and life experiences and remember that most people enjoy the chance to help a college student.
Consider networking as an opportunity to gain even more communication skills, learn about your field of interest and meet area professionals. Networking conversations can go bad quickly if the person can tell you are more interested in gaining information like contact names than learning from the experience of the person to whom your are speaking. Be respectful and remember that you have much to learn from each person you meet.

The Art of Small Talk
Most networking begins through casual everyday conversation. Strike up a conversation with the people you meet in your normal routine. You never know who may have an aunt or a brother or a colleague in your field.

Why Is Networking Important.....

According to a recent survey of the Department of Labor, networking accounts for at least 69% of all annual hires. Networking is an essential component of every job search. Throughout your life you will make networking contacts that develop into relationships including friends, colleagues, and professional prospects.