What do you say during an information meeting? If you are networking, and making connections, you are getting information meetings with people who are second or third degree connections. They may offer career advice and may, in the future, have a job opening or know of a job opening. You are not interviewing for an actual position. So what do you say?
You have three things you want to get across during this 15-minute meeting:
- Your pitch –This is your basic introduction of yourself. You want to emphasize your experience, your skills and your enthusiasm for working in this field, this industry, this company.
- Your accomplishments – Tell a story about one or two of your accomplishments. What was your role, what problem did you solve? What were the results? Try to quantify your results in money earned, money saved, time saved, number of customers affected.
- Share something about yourself that is relevant to the individual. You must have done your homework by searching on LinkedIn to find out where they went to school, what are their interests outside of work.
There are three key questions to ask during the information meeting:
- Challenge – What is the biggest challenge facing your company? – You are trying to find out more about the company, the industry and the problems they are facing so you can show how you would come up with a solution.
- What keeps you up at night? (regarding the business) – You want to know what the individual manager is struggling with, or an obstacle s/he must overcome. Once again, you may be able to help by explaining how you solved a similar problem in a previous position.
- Contribution – How would someone with my qualifications and background make a contribution to your company? Even though there are no openings now, you want to find out whether your skill set and personality will fit into the mission and culture of the organization.
What is ultimate goal for this meeting? To start building a relationship. Lastly, your ask: Could you introduce me to someone else in the field? You may even wish to show the manager your job target list of companies and ask them whether they know anyone who works in any of those companies.