Should you grant informational interviews? The Bagg Group weighs in


Every now and then, you may get an email request for an informational interview.   A job-seeker who is hoping to work in your field is asking to meet to learn more about what you do, and to seek your advice.

When you already have a long to-do list, you may wonder if it’s really worth it to take 20 or 30 minutes out of your day to talk to someone –who you don’t know –about how to follow in your footsteps.

However, there’s evidence to suggest that agreeing to this kind of coffee break may be a good use of time.

At The Bagg Group, we’ve interviewed hundreds of thousands of candidates over four-plus decades to place more than 58,000 people successfully in the best companies in the GTA.  In the process, we’ve learned the value of information and idea exchanges – however they happen.

Here are a few reasons in favour of giving informational interviews.

It’s a rare time of reflection:  In telling someone else how to be successful in your field, you revisit the skills and attitude that helped you succeed.  That can be energizing – and eye-opening.

When you help someone look ahead, you do too:   Explaining how your field and industry are evolving to someone who is just starting out can spark an idea or two about how you’d like to move forward.

Networking works two ways:  You can identify new talent for the future.  Plus, you just never know where someone will end up.  The person who asks you a question today may have an answer to a question of yours tomorrow.

It’s a chance to pass it forward:  We’ve all had to start somewhere. Those of us who had someone take the time to offer us insight or share advice about our career path know how much it’s truly appreciated.

There’s an old proverb that says, “A single conversation across the table with a wise person is worth a month’s study of books.”   Many of our talented candidates who aspire to excel – in full-time positions, contract work, or part-time placements – have told us how much they’ve learned from those who have taken the time for that single conversation.

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