Situation: Asking For an Informational Interview
If there is a company you’d like to work for, use this script to ask for an informational interview. This can also be a script if you identify a contact who can give you information or help you network for a job.
- Try to find someone you already know at the target company. Look at the company’s page on LinkedIn and see if you already know someone at the company who can help introduce you to the person you want to talk to/meet.
- If you don’t have a specific name, research the company’s website and/or LinkedIn company profile to see if you can find the name, title, and phone number of the person who hires for and/or oversees the job you want.
Make the Call:
Hi! My name is (your name) and I was given your name as the person who oversees the (name of) department or hires (job titles).
OR[If you were referred to them by someone, mention that. Or, if you have something else in common — like your alma mater or a professional association, use that as your lead-in.]
I’m looking to make connections in the ____ field. I know you’re not currently hiring, but I was hoping you might be able to provide me with some advice.
Would you mind if I asked you a couple of questions?[If no, ask if you can schedule a time to talk to them later.] [If yes, give a quick summary of your background and qualifications and then ask one or more specific questions]
- (If the job you want isn’t currently open): How do you typically fill positions within your department? Do you hire from within or do you advertise them? And, if so, where? Or do you work with a recruiter? (in-house or which firm or firms do you typically work with?)
- How do you like working for the company? [If you’ve researched the person on LinkedIn, you can ask more specific questions.]
- Do you know of another department within the company — or another company — that might be hiring (job titles)?
- How can I be helpful to you?
Thank you for your time.
How It Might Sound:
You: Hi! My name is Jim Adams and we’re both members of the Public Relations Society of America. I’ve seen you at a couple of meetings, but we’ve never formally met. I’m looking to make connections in the public relations field. I was hoping you’d have a couple of minutes to provide me with some advice. Would you mind if I asked you a couple of questions? I promise I’ll keep it short.
Contact: Sure, I’ll try to answer a question or two for you, if I can.
You: I’ve worked with a couple of agencies — I’m currently a PR Specialist with Acme PR and previously worked as an Account Executive for Johnson Marsdale for five years before that, specializing in pitching, account service, and media relations. I was wondering how your agency typically fills positions when they come open. Do you hire from within, do you advertise them, or do you work with recruiters?
Contact: We usually put up postings on the PRSA job board and Indeed but we also work with recruiters — usually PR Talent and Bloom Gross & Associates.
You: Great. Can I ask how you got hired at Melville, Asher & Company?
Contact: One of my former bosses came to work here and he hired me away. They actually created a job for me, and then I was promoted into my current role two years ago.
You: That’s great. I see from your LinkedIn profile that you’re well connected in the industry. Do you happen to know of any companies that might be hiring PR Specialists focusing on ag and farming clients? That’s my specialty.
Contact: I don’t know of anyone specifically that’s hiring, but I am friends with Courtney Landry over at Miller & Jackson PR and I know they have a couple of ag and farming accounts. You’re welcome to drop my name if you want to ask her about openings.
You: Thank you. I really appreciate it. One last thing: Is there anything I can do for you? I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today.
Contact: No, I can’t think of anything. But do say hi if you are at next month’s PRSA meeting.
You: Will do. Thanks again.