A Classic Networking Tactic Makes a Comeback

April 12, 2016

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Contact: Naz Araghian
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Survey Shows Informational Interviews Can Result in Direct Job Leads

Toronto, ON. / CNW / – 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, 53 per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said these meetings are becoming more common, with more than half (58 per cent) receiving informational interview requests at least once a month. Job seekers should take note – 93 per cent of executives said when someone impresses them in a meeting, it’s likely they will alert that person to job openings at the company.

“Informational interviews allow job seekers to turn the tables on the typical interview structure, and direct the discussion through their own line of questioning,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. “Instead of treating this as a job interview, candidates should recognize this conversation as a more personal opportunity to build a business relationship that may be formative in their future career.”

Hunnam-Jones added, “Candidates should come prepared with thoughtful questions that delve into the individual’s career path, industry and professional insights, ensuring they leave a positive impression, and get the most value out of the meeting.”

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


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




Don’t know





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


Don’t know





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 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

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 Accountemps blog, can be found at accountemps.ca. Follow us at @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.