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The informational encounter: the secret weapon

You have never requested an informational meeting during your job search? You’ll probably want to get started knowing that this interview considerably increases your chances of landing a job. Here’s how to turn an informal interview into a secret weapon.

This little-known practice is intended to establish a network of contacts by meeting key people in the workplace that one wishes to integrate without necessarily having a job offer. This allows us to understand what the employer is looking for when he has a position to fill and also to better understand the issues in this field. In addition, by talking with them, it helps us prepare for future interviews and know what to add to our CV for our next steps. The goal is not to immediately get a job, but to establish a network of links that will sooner or later be very useful!

How do you go about requesting such a meeting?
As Susana Diaz, advisor for the Centre-Sud/Plateau Mont-Royal Community Economic Development Corporation (CDEC) explains, “the ideal is to use LinkedIn, first to identify the person we want to meet. We should aim for an interview with someone who has decision-making power, such as a director, not a human resources employee. »

Then,” she says, “we need to see if anyone in our network knows that person. It’s much easier to ask for a meeting when you’re recommended, and the chances of someone saying yes are greater! “It’s best if our contact asks the person we want to meet directly if they would be willing to give us some time. If we do this, according to Ms. Diaz, it’s very rare that an employer refuses.

If we don’t know anyone who can introduce us, we can also try the cold callThis means calling or emailing the employer directly. While this approach also works, it is often a little more difficult.

How to be well prepared
As the employer is kind enough to grant us an interview, we must make sure we are ready to go so that we don’t waste their time. Above all, we must find out about the company, but also about the type of position to be filled in order to ask relevant questions.

At the end of the meeting, do not hesitate to ask the person you met if they can recommend us to others for further information meetings. Even if this employer is not looking to hire someone right away, perhaps they know of another employer who is currently looking for a good candidate?

Maintain your network of contacts
It should also be kept in mind that this kind of meeting is the basis for a future collaboration that can generate a long-term professional relationship. It is therefore important to see if we, in turn, can help this person in various fields. We must obviously thank her for the time she gives us and maintain contact afterwards. In short, we must establish a real connection with this person who is not only interested.

How does that work out in practice?
For an employer,” says Susana Diaz, “it’s very interesting when a candidate does this, because it’s not easy to find good workers. It says a lot about their personality! It shows her sense of initiative, her autonomy, her leadership, but also her ability to communicate and get in touch with others. In short, it allows you to pass the first filter. “What’s more, this first contact is much more personal and effective than a CV that lands on a hundred others!

And the success rate of such an approach? According to Susana Diaz, it’s a winning approach: “It works almost 100% of the time, as long as we give ourselves the time to do it and do it well! When we’re looking for work, we should try to meet once a week to build our network and after a while, it’s almost inevitable, it works! »

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