HOW THEY CAN BE A BIG PART OF YOUR STRATEGY
An informational interview is not a job interview. Therefore, your expectations should be genuine and your objective should be to gain insights and information into the profession, not to be offered a job. Since you scheduled the meeting, you will want to be prepared to conduct the meeting and have a set of questions to ask. You will want to bring a copy of your resume and be prepared to share it with them if they ask. Do not provide them with a resume if they do not ask for one. Arrive early, dress professionally, and be prepared.
As you enter the meeting, you will want to do your best to stay on track:
Introduction – Introduce yourself and graciously thank them for meeting you. Some small talk might be appropriate to break the ice.
Tell Them Why You Wanted To See Them – Be honest and let them know that you want to know more about the industry and their role (as well as periphery roles they may be familiar with). Everyone likes to talk about themselves and this a good chance to ask some good open ended questions about how they started in the sports industry and what steps, series of events and actions they took to get to where they are now.
Tell Them About Yourself – This is a chance to mildly sell yourself by sharing your story (your Positioning statement). Be mindful of the 4 C’s of communication at this stage:
Have a CALL TO ACTION
Ask Questions – Make sure you are prepared for your meeting and that you have a list of questions to ask. Have a pen and paper, and take good notes.
Ask For Referrals – Because he/she has met with you, you have now earned the right to ask your new contact if they are open to connecting you with any appropriate contacts of theirs. As he or she provides you with names, ask them if you can mention their name as the one who recommended that you contact them.
Thank Them – Being careful not to abuse their time, graciously thank them for their time, and ask if they would mind if you stayed in touch with them. (a nice CALL TO ACTION)
Follow-up – Send a thank you letter to them and personalize it from the notes you took at the meeting. Continue to stay in contact with them (even a short note) every three to four months.
The insight you can gain from these meetings can been invaluable, and can yield great results from proper follow-up after the meetings. Start the process of being an active networker within the profession. Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!
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