Times are tough. The competition for a job is tougher. An information interview can give you an advantage in a job search. Before you go, do your homework. Look at the web site of the targeted employer. Learn all you can. If you know someone who works there, call that person. Ask about culture, internal structure, and management styles. Armed with knowledge, march in for your interview with confidence. Showcase what you know. Ask in-depth questions, including how someone with your background and credentials might best fit in. While you’re there, try to see if the employees seem engaged in their work or disconnected from it. If the company representative likes what he or she sees in you, you’ve just given yourself a good chance at a callback, and a leg up on others who have simply sent in résumés.
Martin is the owner of The Photo Editor (www.thephotoeditor.com) in Arlington, Va. She has years of experience hiring and interviewing for a large company, experience she uses today to research potential clients.