If you really want to penetrate the hidden job market in Pittsburgh, you need to master the art of the informational interview. To do this effectively, I ask my clients to assume the role of an investigative reporter. You’ve made it clear in scheduling your interview, that you are interested in information and are not interested — at this time — in a job. Your focus is to place the decision-maker in the role of the star, the featured player. His or her company is the featured setting.
You must learn how to draw out the decision-maker and encourage him to talk about his life and career. People, in general, like to talk about themselves and will willingly give you a great deal of information if you give them the opportunity.
There are actually two types of informational interviews. The first is for the job seeker who is thinking of changing careers. The second is for the job seeker who knows what career niche he or she is focusing on. There are subtle differences between the two types of interviews. I will describe the approach for each in subsequent posts.