A Classic Networking Tactic Makes A Comeback

Survey Shows Informational Interviews Can Result in Direct Job Leads

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Though you may not hear about them often, the informational interview hasn't gone the way of the flip phone, according to a recent Accountemps survey. In fact, 36 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said these meetings are becoming more common, with nearly one-third (31 percent) receiving informational interview requests at least once a month. Job seekers should take note – 84 percent of executives said when someone impresses them in a meeting, it's likely they will alert that person to job openings at the company.   

View an infographic of the survey findings.

Informational interviews are becoming more common. Survey shows they can also result in job leads.

"Informational interviews are the opposite of a typical job interview, in that the interviewee is expected to pose most of the questions," said Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps. "To get the most out of the meeting, professionals should come prepared to ask about the company, the industry and a typical career path for someone in that field."

Driscoll points out that job seekers who arrange these introductory meetings with employers should be ready in case the tables are turned. "The informational interview is not a job interview, but it can quickly turn into one if the executive feels you might be a good fit for a current job opening."

CFOs were asked, "Do you feel informational interviews are more or less common today versus 10 years ago?" Their responses:

Much more common


Somewhat more common


About the same


Somewhat less common


Much less common


Don't know




CFOs were also asked, "How often do you get requests for informational interviews from professionals who are interested in careers with your company or in your industry?" Their responses:

Once a week


Once a month


Once every few months


Once a year


Once every few years






CFOs were also asked, "When hiring, how likely are you to alert someone who impressed you during an informational interview about a job opening?" Their responses*:

Very likely


Somewhat likely


Not very likely


Not at all likely


Don't know




*Responses do not equal 100 due to rounding.

Accountemps offers the following do's and don'ts for maximizing informational interviews:



Pick the right person. Research a few companies or industries in which you are interested. Tools like LinkedIn can help you identify the right contacts to interview.

Get discouraged. Landing an actual job interview could take time. But if the informational interview goes well, it could lead to referrals to other contacts or openings.

Be strategic about how you ask for an interview. Ask a common contact for an introduction or send an email or LinkedIn message to start a conversation. If you use the phone, practice what you'll say if you reach the person or his or her voicemail.

Turn it into a job interview. Let the person you are interviewing know about your career interests, but don't oversell yourself. The purpose of this meeting is to glean information.

Come prepared. This is a business meeting, so dress appropriately. Unlike a job interview, the candidate or job seeker is running the meeting. Prepare a list of questions to ask in advance.

Forget to show gratitude. Always send a thank-you note after an interview and keep your new contact updated on your job search and career progress.

About the Research
The survey was conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 330 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the company's blog, can be found at roberthalf.com/accountemps.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160411/353993

SOURCE Accountemps

For further information: Shilpa Ahuja, 925.913.2796, shilpa.ahuja@roberthalf.com

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