I truly believe informational interviews are one of the most important things you need to do when you are planning your next career move. An informational interview is a process by which you can access all the insider information about your next job that you most likely not going to find online. Sadly, I found the majority of the graduate students that I have talked to do not really know what it is or the purpose that these interviews serve. For those who have never heard of informational interviews before, it is a non-formal conversation to seek information about specific careers and companies. Although it’s not something from which you can be hired directly, the valuable information that you can get from this can give you a significant competitive edge and some even have received an actual interview directly from their interaction with the interviewer. In my personal experience, I did a couple of informational interviews for industry postdoc positions, and I found there are major differences in the optimal ways to apply for those same positions between companies. Here is a great video from Cheeky Scientist with useful tips and mistakes to avoid when you are conducting an informational interview, and the video is specifically tailored to graduate students.
Edited by Jennifer Baily
This video was originally brought to my attention by the FUTURE program’s course. The FUTURE program is a career exploration/preparation course that I highly recommend to everyone. Here is their website if you are interested https://future.ucdavis.edu/ .
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