By Marian Li, Toppel Peer Advisor
There are first interviews, second interviews, phone interviews, lunch interviews, and group interviews; you’d think employers covered all their bases since all of the above have purposes and best practices. And then there’s the forgotten interview of the job searching process: the informational one. Informational interviews are underutilized. People, especially college students, are unaware of the opportunities that are presented before them. The title of “student” shields one from the judging, probing stares of an employer when they search for an ulterior motive. As a student, employers gladly take one under their wing and treat the interview as a learning opportunity.
What do you do after the interview? Take a breath and give yourself a pat on the back if you've made it all the way through successfully setting up and conducting an informational interview. But also know that how you follow up is just as important as how you behaved in the interview itself. And you should always follow up—even if you're disinterested in pursuing the lead any further. If an interviewer doesn't hear back from someone they gave an informational interview, they would feel used. If you're not interested in the company or the field, you should still send a quick thank you. An email will suffice, but if you are interested, then your tone and the frequency of your follow up will change.