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HBR Guides to Managing Your Career Collection (6 Books) by Harvard Business Review

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CHAPTER 11

Research Your Destination with Informational Interviews

by Dorie Clark

Informational interviews with friends of friends, school and workplace alumni, and others in professions you’re considering will help you explore career options and make connections. They provide a safe environment to ask pointed questions—which allows you to find promising possibilities and weed out choices that aren’t a good fit.

But there’s a risk: If you don’t make a good first impression at an informational interview, you can torpedo the relationship. You may not know at this point exactly where you’re headed, and that’s OK. But as San Francisco–based executive coach Rebecca Zucker notes, “You still need to come across in a way that inspires confidence and ...

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