Informational interview with two people

How to Request an Informational Interview: 6 Templates

In the world of networking, the informational interview can be a powerful and effective tool. While the main goal of an informational interview isn’t necessarily to get a job, meeting with someone who can give you insights on a particular career, workplace, or industry is invaluable. But it can also be a very daunting task!

Convincing someone to take time out of their busy day to speak with you is half the battle, and many people aren’t exactly sure how to ask for an informational interview. The phone, LinkedIn, and email templates below can help you craft the perfect informational interview request.

 

Informational Interview Templates for Reaching Out “Cold” to a Brand-New Contact

Contacting someone you’ve never met is challenging, to say the least. There’s always a chance the message could get lost in their spam folder, or that they won’t open a social media message from someone they don’t know. That’s why it’s important to keep your message simple and clear.

In an opening informational interview email or message, you should state who you are, why you are reaching out, and what action you want the recipient to take (for example, confirming a date and time). If you have no other connection to this person, try looking them up online and including an extra detail from your research. If you have a mutual acquaintance, you should note that. Or, you can join one of the same social media groups as your recipient and mention that in your message.

Here are different ways to reach out to a “cold” contact:

 

Man at laptop

 

Email

Email may be the most common way to ask for an informational interview. Almost everyone has a work email address, and it can be more professional to reach out through email than through LinkedIn. However, you do run the risk of your email being caught in a spam filter. Make sure your subject line is clear and to the point, and you’ll have a greater chance of getting a reply.

Subject: Informational Interview Request with [Contact Name]

Hello [Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I recently found your contact information on [LinkedIn, company website, etc.] and thought your career path working at [company] to be very noteworthy. I am interested in learning more about [reason for informational interview], and would greatly appreciate an opportunity to talk with you for 15-20 minutes to ask you some questions about your experience.

If you’re available to speak with me next week, I would be grateful for any insights you can share. Please let me know what day would work best for you.

You can learn more about me at my LinkedIn profile [or portfolio website] here: [link to profile]

Thank you,

[Your Name]

 

LinkedIn Message

A benefit of reaching out to someone on LinkedIn is that they can view your profile right away and see any connections you may share. This could give you a higher chance of getting a reply. So, if you do have common interests or connections, be sure to capitalize on that. That does mean your LinkedIn profile should be fully up to date and active; they will be looking you up, too. The message itself can be similar to an email.

Hello [Name],

I found your profile on LinkedIn and thought your career path working at [company] to be very noteworthy. I see we have [shared group/contact/interest] in common, so I wanted to reach out to you. I am interested in learning more about [reason for informational interview]. I would greatly appreciate an opportunity to talk with you for 15-20 minutes to ask you some questions about your experience.

If you’re available to speak with me next week, I would be grateful for any insights you can share. Please let me know what day would work best for you.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

 

Phone Call

If you plan on requesting an informational interview by phone, it’s a good idea to have a script to work from. You can read directly from the script if you need to leave a message, but be prepared to go off-book if you speak to them directly.

Hi [Name],

My name is [your name] and I am currently [your employment/student status]. I am interested in learning more about [reason for informational interview]. I would greatly appreciate an opportunity to talk with you for 15-20 minutes to ask you some questions about your experience.

I found your contact information on [LinkedIn, company website, etc.] and thought your career path aligned closely with my own goals.

If you’re available to speak with me next week, I would be grateful for any insights you can share. Please let me know what day would work best. You can reach me at [your phone number].

Thank you and have a nice day.

 

Job Seeker Sign In

 

Informational Interview Templates for Reaching Out to a Mutual Contact

Sending an informational interview request to a mutual contact or someone you already know can give you a huge advantage in getting a response. When researching a potential informational interviewee, it’s a good idea to start with anyone you’ve met in person or any mutual connections you have on LinkedIn. In your informational interview email or message, you should mention how you know them and any previous contact you may have had. Remember to keep your message simple and clear, and let them know what action they can take next.

 

Woman in office shaking hands

 

Email

An email can be a great way to request an informational interview from someone with whom you have a mutual contact. Be sure to include that mutual contact’s name in your subject line to decrease the likelihood they’ll ignore it.

SUBJECT: Informational Interview Request, Writing at Suggestion of [Mutual Contact].

Hi [Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am currently [reason for informational interview] and [Mutual Contact] suggested you would be a good source of information. I am currently [current employment or student status] and would appreciate your insights in the industry.

I’m hoping you might have 15-20 minutes to meet with me in person or virtually in the next few weeks. Please let me know if this might be possible and what dates and times are most convenient for you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

 

LinkedIn Message

Reaching out via LinkedIn is a good way to build out your professional network with people who you’ve met before at a trade show or conference. If you talked to someone who you think will be able to help you learn more about an industry or company, mention where you met and what you initially discussed before asking for the informational interview.

Hi [Name],

It was so nice to meet you recently at [place you met], and I hope you’re having a good [day]. I enjoyed speaking with you at [place] and would love to continue our conversation about [topic]. I’m currently [reason for informational interview] and was hoping you’d be willing to share more insights from your experience.

If you’re open to it, I’d love to meet with you in person or virtually in the next few weeks to ask you some questions and learn more. Please let me know if this might be possible and what dates and times are most convenient for you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

 

 

Phone

A phone call is another great way to contact someone you’re already familiar with. You should have a script prepared in case you need to leave a message. But if they do answer the phone, keep in mind that real conversations rarely stay on-script so be prepared for that.

Hi [Name],

My name is [Your Name] and we recently met at [place you met]. I’m currently [reason for informational interview] and was hoping you’d be willing to continuing our conversation from [place].

If you’re open to it, I’d love to meet with you in person or over the phone in the next few weeks to ask you some questions and learn more about your insights and experience. Please let me know if this might be possible and what dates and times are most convenient for you.

You can reach me at [your phone number].

Thank you and have a nice day.

 

 

Laptop with multiple messages

 

Following Up

There’s always a chance that the person you reach out to won’t reply to your initial message. That’s OK; there are plenty of reasons why they might not reply that aren’t deal-breakers. But, you will want to send a follow-up message if you haven’t heard back in about a week.

It’s also important to send a follow-up message if they do respond and you hold the interview. A formal thank-you letter or email sent one or two days later is a must. Thank your contact for their time and any important insights you learned. You may also offer to keep in touch with them as you continue on your career path.

Now that you have these informational interview request templates, you can use them to help kick-start your networking efforts and eventually transition to a new role.

By Doug Atkinson | August 05, 2021
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