The Other Side of the Informational Interview

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At one point in our career, we become the person answering the questions we once asked.

We spend a lot of time early in our careers seeking advice from industry veterans. From asking about their career path to resume tips, informational interviews have become a key part to getting ahead in a competitive industry. But sooner or later, before you realize it, you become the subject of an informational interview. College students reach out to you wanting to hear about your job and what you did to get there.

Such was the case for me a few weeks ago. It was a strange feeling. Even though it feels like I’m still getting my feet under me, I realized I’ve been working in sports for five years in various capacities. Between my internships and full-time gigs, I’ve become the person I used to seek out for advice.

As you advance in your careers and have people look up to you, here are three pieces of advice for when you’re the subject of an informational interview.

1. Be genuine and honest.

We’re all busy and sometimes it can be tough to find a good time to talk to someone about your career. But no matter how you’re feeling that day, don’t let it show. Be engaged in the conversation and don’t just go through the motions. If they ask your opinion on grad school or how difficult it is to get into the industry, be honest with them. Make sure your answers are ones that can help them when it comes to deciding on their future.

2. Do what you say you’ll do.

We all know how important it is to follow through on things you say you’ll do, no matter what aspect of your life it is. If you tell the person interviewing you that you’ll send them an internship link when it opens, do it. If you tell them you’ll connect them another person, connect them. Nobody likes to be left hanging.

3. Remember that you were in their shoes once.

Once upon a time, you were the one calling a stranger whose job you wanted. Remember that feeling and do what you can to make the student interviewing you feel comfortable. At the end of the day, we all get by with a little help from our sports biz friends.

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