An informational meeting is an informal meeting with a professional in an area of your career interest. It is a great way to gain more in-depth knowledge about a potential employer, opportunity, or field. Although this type of meeting often leads to job opportunities, avoid asking for a job at an informational meeting.
After you identify an organization or individual, reach out via phone, e-mail, or LinkedIn and introduce yourself. Ask for a 30-minute meeting to discuss their career field and/or organization, meeting at their office when possible to get a feel for the environment.
It is your job to lead this meeting, so be prepared with topics and questions. After you introduce yourself, consider asking these questions:
In concluding your meeting, follow up with a thank-you letter or e-mail and consider including an interesting article or website related to your contact's professional or personal interests; remember that networking is the art of building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships.