Informational Interviewing - Job Shadowing Packet by ashrafp

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									          Informational Interviewing/Job Shadowing Packet

What is an informational interview?
      A 20-30 minute conversation with an individual in a specific career field.
      Researching your ideal job.

What is a job shadow?
      Typically a ½ day or full day opportunity to witness a career firsthand.
      Getting an up-close look at a normal day on the job.

Why should I do an informational interview or job shadow?
      Learn more about occupations, industries, employers and opportunities so you
       can confirm what career options you want to pursue.
      Find out what skills you need to gain in order to get into this position. This can
       prepare you by knowing how to gain these experiences through classes,
       internships, work experiences, volunteer opportunities, etc.
      Network with people in a career field you’re interested in pursuing, which will be
       useful in a future job search you conduct.

INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWING
How many informational interviews should I conduct?
      Focus on 2-3 careers you are interested in learning more about.
      For each career, conduct 3 informational interviews.

How do I set up an informational interview?
Informational interviews can be set up in 3 different ways:

1. Start by connecting with people you know who are in the career field you are
   interested in learning more about. Ask yourself, “Who do I know
   that might be able to answer my questions about a career in __________?”
   You may not know anyone in a career field you are interested in. If not, skip
   to 2.
     Make a brainstorming list of people you know:
       Name                                    Phone number

       ____________________________             ________________________

       ____________________________             ________________________

       ____________________________             ________________________

      Follow instructions for CONTACTING THE PERSON YOU WANT TO DO AN
       INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW WITH at the bottom of this section.


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2. Now think about people you know or can easily meet who may know someone in the
   field you’re interested in. This could be college advisors, supervisors, family, friends,
   friend’s parents, etc. Professors are often great contacts, as they know alumni or
   have contacts within industries of interest to you.

      Make a brainstorming List:
       Name                                      Phone number

       ____________________________              ________________________

       ____________________________              ________________________

       ____________________________              ________________________

       ____________________________              ________________________

       ____________________________              ________________________

       ____________________________              ________________________

       ____________________________              ________________________

       ____________________________              ________________________

       ____________________________              ________________________

      Make a phone call or meet in person with your contact. Here is a script of what
       you may say:
          Hello, this is _______. How are you? I am researching careers in
           __________ and was hoping you may be able to help connect me
          with people working in this field. My hope is to talk with a few people
          in the _________ career field to find out if this is a career I would like to
          pursue. I’d like to meet with each person for a 20-30 informational
          interview to find out about his or her experiences in the __________
          profession. Do you know anyone in this career field I may contact?
      Thank the person for his or her contacts and ask if it’s okay that you mention
       you got the contact’s name from them. Offer to return a favor in the future.
      If the person you call or meet with does not have any contacts, ask them to keep
       you in mind if they think of someone in the future.
      Follow instructions for CONTACTING THE PERSON YOU WANT TO DO AN
       INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW WITH at the bottom of this section.




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3. Utilize the additional contacts/resources to connect with people in a career field:
     Phone book yellow pages.
     Internet resources and search engines, such as google.
     The CSU Career Center RamConnect Tool in CareerRam
        (www.career.colostate.edu) gives you the option to contact alumni of CSU to
        network.
     Career fairs create opportunities to network with workers from various
        companies; this is your opportunity to collect business cards.
     The Career Center’s Meet the Employer Sessions bring in employers.
     Campus organizations often organize guest speakers.
     Professional organizations provide excellent networking opportunities at
        conferences or monthly meetings.

      Make a brainstorming List:
       Name                                     Phone number

       ____________________________             ________________________

       ____________________________             ________________________

       ____________________________             ________________________

       ____________________________             ________________________

       ____________________________             ________________________

       ____________________________             ________________________

CONTACTING THE PERSON YOU WANT TO DO AN INFORMATIONAL
INTERVIEW WITH:
   Send an e-mail or make a phone call to the person you would like to meet with
     for an informational interview. Here is a script of what you might say:
             Hello (NAME OF PERSON). I’m interested in learning more about the
             ____________ career field to see if I’m interested in pursuing this line of
             work. (You may at this point mention how you were referred to them). I
             have 5-10 questions I would like to ask you to learn first-hand what your
             career is like. Would you be willing to meet with me for a 20-30 minute
             informational interview?
      If the contact agrees to a meeting, establish a convenient time, date and place
       for the interview. Be friendly, flexible and polite.
      If meeting in person is not an option, having a 30 minute telephone conversation
       may also be a possibility.
      Thank them for the opportunity.




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How do I prepare?
   Write down 5-10 questions on a piece of paper with plenty of space in between
       to take notes during the informational interview. Refer to What questions do I
       ask in an informational interview? for ideas.
      You may want to research the company’s web site.
      Get directions, arrive 5-10 minutes early, and bring a pen with your questions.

How should I conduct my informational interview?
      Arrive on time and dress professionally.
      Introduce yourself, use a firm handshake, and be polite
      Thank the person for their time.
      Explain your purpose is to gather information and research this career field to
       help with your career planning.
      Ask the person if it’s okay for you to take notes during the informational
       interview.
      Briefly describe your interest in the field and mention any related experiences
       you may have had.
      Ask the person 5-10 questions and be aware of the time. Pay attention to the
       clock and don’t stay longer than 20-30 minutes.
      After the questions, thank them for the information they shared and offer to
       return a favor in the future.
      Obtain a business card or contact information before you leave.

Should I send a thank you note afterward?
      Yes!
      Within a day or two after the informational interview, send a handwritten or
       typed thank you note.
      In the note, thank him or her for their time and information. Mention something
       of value you learned from the informational interview. If the person provided
       additional contacts or resources, let them know what steps you have taken or
       plan to take. Conclude the note with an offer to assist them in some way in the
       future.




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What questions do I ask in an informational interview?

How did you get into this field or job?

What do you enjoy most about your position?

What parts of your work are your least favorite, and why?

What is your educational background?

What is a typical work day/week like?

What are the responsibilities in your position?

What can a person do to prepare to enter this field?

What is the work environment like?

What is the demand for people in this field, both locally and nationally?

What are the average pay ranges for this type of work for entry level, midrange, and
highly trained workers?

What mixture of talent, education, work experience or other preparation would best
enable me to enter this field?

What are some of the problems you deal with on a day-to-day basis?

What kind of future is there for this type of job or industry?

What social, political and economic trends influence this field of work?

What are the opportunities for advancement?

What strategies did you use (in your job search, career planning, etc.) that were most
successful?

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?

What is the best advice you can give a person interested in this occupation?

If you were me, what would you do next?

Who else in this line of work would you recommend I also interview?


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JOB SHADOWING
When should I set up a job shadowing experience?
  After doing informational interviews, determine what careers you want to learn
     more about and set up job shadowing experiences in these areas.
    When you are willing to invest more time than a 30 minute informational
     interview to dig into the trenches of a career. Keep in mind job shadowing can
     be arranged from anywhere from a few hours to more than a week, depending
     on what you arrange with the person you shadow.

How do I connect with professionals in my career field of interest
to set up a Job Shadowing experience?
    Following an informational interview, you may consider asking the person you
     met with for the informational interview if he or she would be willing to have you
     shadow them.
    Set up the job shadow experience in much the same way you arranged an
     informational interview by:
         1. Connecting with people you know who are in the career field you are
            interested in learning more about.
         2. Brainstorming a list of people you know or can easily meet who may know
            someone in the field you’re interested in.
         3. Utilizing contacts/resources to connect with people in a career field.

      Make a job shadow brainstorming List:
      Name                                  Phone number

      ____________________________            ________________________

      ____________________________            ________________________

      ____________________________            ________________________

      ____________________________            ________________________

      ____________________________            ________________________

      ____________________________            ________________________

      ____________________________            ________________________

      ____________________________            ________________________

      ____________________________            ________________________



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How do I set up a Job Shadowing experience?
     Once you have a contact, send an e-mail or make a phone call to the person you
      would like to job shadow. Here is a script of what you might say:
            Hello (NAME OF PERSON). I’m currently a student at Colorado State
            University and I’m considering a career in the _________ field. (You may
            at this point mention how you were referred to them). I know I’m asking
            quite a bit, but I would be extremely grateful if you allowed me to job
            shadow you for (request amount of time you would like or allow them to
            determine what is feasible). My hope is to quietly observe you as you go
            about your usual schedule. Would you be willing to schedule a time with
            me to job shadow you?
     With scheduling a time to meet, be very flexible. The person you're shadowing is
      probably a busy professional, so plan to make requests a least a couple weeks
      before you want to set up the job shadowing experience. Keep in mind, the
      person you’re shadowing is going out of his or her way to accommodate you for
      the period of time you're asking for. While the idea is for the professional to go
      about business as usual while you observe, it's obvious that he or she may feel a
      bit restricted by your watchful eyes, so he or she is doing you a big favor.

How do I prepare?
     Research before you shadow by looking at the company website.
     Get directions, arrive 5-10 minutes early, and bring a pen and paper.
     Dress for success by wearing the same level of dress as others in the company
      or one step above the typical wear.

How do I conduct a job shadowing experience?
     Introduce yourself, use a firm handshake, and be polite.
     Thank the person for their time and be enthusiastic. Show the person you're
      shadowing how much you appreciate their time and opportunity to learn.
     Ask the person if it’s okay for you to take notes during the job shadowing
      experience. Don't be afraid to ask questions, while also not bombarding the
      professional with so many questions that he or she can't get any work done. Any
      question that can be asked in an informational interview can be asked while job-
      shadowing. Record observations and answers to your questions.
     Be open to meeting as many people as possible during the experience. If you'd
      especially like to meet people in certain job functions, be sure to ask if your
      professional will introduce you.
     Be observative! Take note of the company culture by noting how casual or
      formal the work environment is. Notice whether workers seem to be happy,
      stressed, hurried, calm, etc. Look around at the physical surroundings and what
      technology is utilized.
     Before you leave, thank them for the time and effort they invested and offer to
      return a favor in the future.
     Obtain a business card or contact information before you leave.


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Should I send a thank you note afterward?
     Yes!
     Within a day or two after job shadowing, send a handwritten or typed thank you
      note.
     In the note, thank him or her for their time and information. Mention something
      of value you learned from the job shadow experience. If the person provided
      additional contacts or resources, let them know what steps you have taken or
      plan to take. Conclude the note with an offer to assist them in some way in the
      future.




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