Unlike informational interviews (which help you learn about a company or job), referral interviews help you meet people who can refer you to the right people at companies where you want to work. Because of
Unlike informational interviews (which help you learn about a company or job), referral interviews help you meet people who can refer you to the right people at companies where you want to work. Because of their tremendous potential, schedule referral interviews often!
To arrange such meetings …
- Determine who you want to meet and why. For example, meet first with influential people you know who may know decision makers at your target companies.
- Research intended interviewees and their companies.
- Call, email or invite people to connect on LinkedIn, explaining why you want to meet.
- Read this article to learn meeting set-up tips.
- Create a Referral Interview Success Sheet based on my template and bring an updated version to each meeting.
During the meeting …
- Present your completed Referral Interview Success Sheet and talk your way through each section to acquaint interviewees with your background, accomplishments and strengths.
- Show them the Target Companies section where you’ve listed companies where you’d like to work along with the name of people you know there (if applicable). Encourage them to fill in blank spaces next to target companies with someone who you could contact.
- Ask interviewees to look at the Other Companies section (which you leave blank) to encourage them to suggest other companies and people to contact.
After the meeting …
- Follow up by email to thank the person and to secure contact information for the people they suggested you call.
- Ask if they prefer to contact the people first (this can be a good opportunity for the person to vouch for you), or if they prefer that you contact them with no introduction.