As you reach out to alumni and other individuals to conduct informational interviews, please keep the following tips in mind in order to have the most successful interactions:
- Spell names correctly. It sounds obvious, but this can really get the conversation off on the wrong foot from the beginning. Pay close attention to this detail.
- Do not use two different fonts in an email. It makes it really clear you’re just copy-pasting from other outreach notes.
- Offer your availability in reasonable blocks of time, for example 1-2 hour windows on 2-3 different days and allow the person to choose. Presume they are busier than you, and make it really easy for them to pick a time. Providing a link to your online calendar and requesting they go in and book the meeting themselves may not be preferred.
- Know how to set up a calendar meeting in whatever program you use (outlook, gmail, etc). Don’t just rely on the email to act as the final confirmation, get it on the calendar.
- When sending the meeting invite, only use 20 or 30 minutes, not 1 hour. That is too long.
- It’s usually best to offer to call them and ask for their best number. Put this into the calendar invite, so at the designated time, no one is wondering who is going to call whom.
- Zoom is very popular, but also consider learning how to use Microsoft Teams.