We all know that informational interviewing is one of the best ways to get a job. After all, it's how emerging professionals get inside information about career fields - not to mention that most employers want to hire someone that is already in their network.
So whether your mentee just finished high school or is almost ready to graduate from college, it's never too early or late to help them build their professional knowledge and network. Start by watching this video of advice from mentors and mentees.
1. If you work in a field that your mentee is interested in, invite them to shadow you for an afternoon at work. A job visit will give them an up-close look at what a day on the job is like - and you can introduce them to your colleagues.
2. Offer to help your mentee build their network. If you work in a field that your mentee is interested in, it will be easy to think of half a dozen people for them to conduct informational interviews with. But even if you're not in a related field, you probably know someone who knows someone. You can send out an email asking your contacts if they know anyone in your mentee's area of interest. You might be surprised about who you know, and most people want to be able to help! At the very least, you can research professional organizations that your mentee can reach out to, but a personal connection - no matter how tangential - can really help open the door.
3. Offer to do a practice informational interview with your mentee. Even if they already know a lot about your job, you can both imagine that your mentee is learning about it for the first time. They will get more comfortable asking these kinds of questions - and may even discover something new about your career or connections.
4. You can also offer to help your mentee edit any of their informational interviewing or job-seeking materials, from their resume and LinkedIn profile to the thank you email that they write to follow up on an interview.