Professional Interviews

A professional interview is where you interview someone to learn about their job and what they do on a day to day basis. It’s helpful for those in college or looking to make a change in their career. Some jobs may sound appealing but it’s hard to understand exactly what the role entails. This is where professional interviews come in handy; they help you understand what certain jobs are really like. 

Here are some tips for holding a professional interview. 

Find someone open to talking with you. 

Finding the right person to talk to is your first step. They should be passionate about what they do and willing to talk openly about their role. In order to find the right person, be sure to reach out to multiple people. Not everyone has time in their day to hold a professional interview. 

Be prepared. 

Coming up with a list of questions before your interview is a great way to be prepared. You don’t want to draw a blank during your meeting. Having a prepared list of questions will help you to utilize your time wisely. 

Here is a list of great questions to ask;

  1. How did you get into _____ ?
  2. How long have you done it?
  3. What is a typical day in your life?
  4. What is your favorite thing about your job? 
  5. What is your least favorite thing?
  6. What skills are necessary for your job?
  7. What did you wish you knew before starting this job?
  8. What advice do you have for someone trying to break into this role?
  9. What traits should someone have with this job?
  10.  What is the hardest thing about your job?
  11. What do you love most about your job?

Be personable

Professional interviews are more laid back since you aren’t interviewing for a job. It’s okay if the conversation strays away from your planned questions. It’s important to show your interest in the person and portray good listening skills. If you click with the person you are interviewing, that’s a good thing. It’s an easy way to network and may open doors for you in your career. You never know who may help you get your next job. 

Why do a professional interview?

Professional interviews are great for people who are curious about a certain career field and want to gain more information. They are especially helpful for those in college looking to find their major or career path. It is hard to choose a job when you have never done that job before; that’s where professional interviews come in. They are also helpful for entrepreneurs or aspiring small business owners. It allows the person conducting the interview to see what the day in the life is of that person. Professional interviews are also a great opportunity to network. The person you interview may be your into a new job. 

How do I find someone to interview?

This will take some research. It’s important to keep your options open and find multiple people to reach out to. Utilize your own network and ask friends and acquaintances if they know anyone available to talk to. There are some great websites such as LinkedIn to help connect you. Don’t be scared to go out of your comfort zone and cold email people. Try researching the top companies in the field of your interest. From there search that company on Linkedin. Linkedin will show you who works there from your college or from your contacts. Be bold and message those people asking if they’d care to chat. It’s okay if most of them don’t get back to you. All you need is one person to say yes. Mention your similar schooling or connection in your introduction so you seem more approachable. 

Reaching out to a successful professional might sound daunting but it’s a great opportunity to learn about potential career paths and jobs. Come prepared for the meeting, you will have a lot to take notes on. Some people may even let you shadow them while at work. It’s a great way to understand different career paths and meet new people. It also shows you know how to take initiative for your goals. 

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