The secret to mastering informational interviews with Elise Austen


Manage episode 266669541 series 2164072
By Rachel East and Kristen Walker, Rachel East, and Kristen Walker. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Rachel and I often encourage our clients to do informational interviews when they’re trying to discern whether a certain career path will be a good fit for them. Why? Because nothing quite beats hearing real people’s stories and getting honest feedback about the all questions you have (but maybe feel weird asking in a real interview).

Usually when I suggest this, though, my clients feel super resistant to the idea. And I get why — it’s incredibly vulnerable to reach out to strangers and ask for help, guidance, feedback, or mentorship.

Elise Austen felt just as resistant about trying informational interviews, but once she committed to it, she got better results than she could have hoped for. Not only did get she lots of clarity on what career track she wanted, but she ended up with some great friends and mentors who have gone above and beyond to support her.

How did she do it?? That’s what I’m here to ask her in this week’s interview with a normal person. We got into…

  • How having her plans completely derailed by the pandemic ended up motivating her to get more intentional about her next career moves.
  • How hard it was for her to hit send on that first message, and how she overcame the awkwardness.
  • Her brilliant strategy for getting over being too attached to results.
  • A breakdown of how many people she reached out to and how many of those actually turned into helpful connections.
  • How to make asking for informational interviews feel like a win-win, instead of a selfish ask.

After you’ve listened, leave us a comment to share how this conversation resonated with you!

MORE ABOUT Elise Austen

Elise Austen is currently an assistant based in Chicago, navigating her 30s and trying to find the next step in her career. Three months ago, she decided to jump into the unknown by booking a one-way flight to Europe ... but, she had to change course when the world threw her a curveball. Now, she's using this forced pause to reevaluate her choices and get more intentional.


Blog: Why you should get down with informational interviews (May 2018) Rejection Therapy with Alex Grodnik (June 2019) Finding a dream job after years of searching with Teanca Shephard (September 2018)


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