How to master your network – use LinkedIn for Informational Interviews

Coffee meeting for Informational Interview

Learn how to master your network and using LinkedIn to set up Informational Interviews. I meet people every day that are looking for a job but do not use LinkedIn, who have an established career however they are looking to move up the corporate ladder, who are entrepreneurs and need to increase their network.
Here are my tips on using LinkedIn to get connected to the right people, the right companies, the right next business endeavor or the right next job and how to leverage Informational Interviews to your advantage.

Informational Interviews show in cell phoneExpanding your contacts.

Step 1.

Start with people you already have connections with:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Alumni
  • Professors
  • Internship
  • Supervisors

Increase your network with the funneling technique

Think of keywords – here you can type anything you want. LinkedIn then searches all fields. You can add titles; country, industry to start your search.
Creep on the person’s profile and find out if there is a mutual connection.
Send a personalized invite to connect.

Hi MayaAlisha,
We have never met; however, your LinkedIn page came up when I was looking for changing the LinkedIn headline. I am really impressed with your career history, in particular, the awards you have received in your field. Please accept my invitation to connect.
Thank you.

After the invitation has been accepted; send the new connection a thank you email and offer help. Share an article that may be of value to them. It sometimes takes time to set up an informational interview but what you have done is to create the relationship with this new connection. Now is the time to ask for an information interview and ask them if you can schedule a 15-minute informational interview over the phone.

Rule Number One: NEVER NEVER NEVER ask for a job at the Informational Interview!

Using your established contacts.

I used my LinkedIn Rolodex i.e. my connections to set up an Informational interview. I reached out to a peer/friend Eric.

“Hi Eric,
Would you be able to meet for a coffee meeting next week? I am looking to re-connect with my network and also would like to conduct an information interview to find how I can offer my services to various small to medium organizations.
Thank you.

Rule Number Two: Prepare for the Informational Interview.

I met with Eric today and made sure I had read his post on Information Interviews. Read up the post for some great tips.

Rule Number Three: Keep mindful of the time and send a thank you note within 24 hours after the informational interview.

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