After you’ve settled on a final list of top contenders for your open position, you’ll reach out to your first choice and present them with a formal offer of employment.
Just as those on the job hunt would use informational interviews to get information about career opportunities and add people to their network, you can use them to learn about potential candidates and then add them to your pipeline. That way, when you have a job that a candidate might be a good fit for, you’ll be able to make the match immediately.
Understandably, the hardest part of arranging informational interviews is actually getting a potential candidate to agree to participate. And that’s where a strong informational interview request letter sample, like the one below, comes in.
You can use this example to get a feel for general writing best practices. For example, you’ll see from the sample that it’s a good idea to keep your message short and to the point, to personalize it as much as possible, and to drive home how the informational interview and beyond can benefit the candidate.
On the flip side, as demonstrated by the informational interview request letter sample, don’t use the space to sell a specific job, harp on your company’s successes, or to make demands of the candidate (e.g. “Send me your resume”).
Informational Interview Request Letter Sample
We also love our furry friends and pride ourselves on our commitment to social responsibility here at Noize Electronics, and I’d love to steal a few minutes of your time to introduce myself and the many opportunities at my organization – as well as to get to know you better.
Are you free Thursday, January 11 or Friday, January 12 at 12:30pm for a 15-minute conversation? If not, feel free to suggest an alternative time that fits your schedule.
Thanks again for your time – I’m looking forward to learning more about you.
Want to use this letter?
As you can see from the above informational interview request letter sample, the main focus is on starting a conversation – not plugging a particular open job or scheduling a formal interview. Outreach is about relationship-building: aim to warm the candidate up and keep them engaged, and then when it comes time to put them forward for a job, they’ll be far more receptive.
Speaking of engagement, the example also does a good job of making the candidate feel special and speaking to their intrinsic motivators. These elements are key to a successful letter because they imply your genuine interest in this person. They communicate that you’ve taken the time to research their accomplishments and values and think about how they align with those of the company you represent.
On a deeper level, introducing intrinsic motivators (the love of dogs and putting value on charity work) also starts to present some semblance of what your company could offer the candidate. If they work for a company currently that isn’t dog friendly and that doesn’t do social responsibility work, then these could be two good reasons to move to your company.
You can often easily find this information on a candidate’s social profile or simply by Googling them. Though, in the case that you’re reaching out to someone who’s been referred by a mutual contact, simply have a short conversation with the contact to get some of these key details. And in the case that neither of these options are available, consider speaking to someone in a similar role to get a feel for the kind of skills and experiences that a candidate would have.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is a clear call to action in the closing section of the letter. The messaging doesn’t leave any room for debate about next steps. It boldly makes a suggestion, but it also doesn’t overstep its bounds, ultimately leaving the power in the hands of the candidate.