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Setting Up Informational Interviews

The best people to approach for informational interviews are those you know personally--i.e., your sister's roommate, your old babysitter. Simply phone them and say, "I'm interested in investigating "X" career/industry/company. Would you be able to spare half an hour sometime in the next few weeks to share your thoughts with me?"

Chances are they'll be flattered and immediately agree to choose a mutually convenient date (which you'll confirm the day before). Your next task? The preparation stage.

If they happen to say no, don't take it personally. It could be they're uncomfortable speaking about their job or company for a reason that's totally unrelated to you. Maybe they're unhappy with their job. Maybe their company was just sold. Simply thank them, and ask if they know of anyone who might be able to help you. Then move on.

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