Informational interviews are a massively valuable way to learn about new jobs, companies and industries. You can create the opportunity to get a firsthand account about a new role you want to pursue or to gain clarity around your next career move.

In this video, I talk about the one thing you absolutely must do to get more yeses in your inbox when you ask for informational interviews. Because, the biggest issue when asking someone to meet with you for this type of discussion is nailing down scheduling.

It can be so easy for the other person to breeze over a vague email in their inbox asking them to get together sometime in the near future. How do you actually get that person to commit to meeting with you?

My best advice: Cut out any confusion or back-and-forth by suggesting two or three meeting times that work for you.

This might seem like a simple and small detail, yet it carries a lot of weight in your communication with the other person. When you provide a few options for them to choose from, you automatically make their choice much less burdensome.

They aren’t left to sort through their calendars, organize times and do the heavy scheduling legwork. Instead, they simply pick, and you both can go on your merry way.

In the relationship between asker and giver, there is always a power dynamic at play. When you ask for an informational interview, there’s a chance they might say no, since they have the decision power in this situation.

If you create an easy opportunity to say yes by taking the planning off their plate, you are much more likely to hear, “Absolutely!” As the person who’s been on the asking end numerous times, I always hoped providing a few time options was well received and helpful.

And then, recently, someone reached out to me for an informational interview and offered a few times they would be available to meet. I was delighted to be on the receiving end, and it was refreshing that the other person thought to take that initiative with scheduling.

Setting up the conversation for success starts with thinking about little details like this. It demonstrates respect; it shows consideracy and thoughtfulness for the other person’s time. And it places you as a trustworthy, able professional who knows what you want.

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