When you meet people for the first time, there is an exploratory process that occurs.
Is this person likable?
Could you see yourself spending time with them?
Do you believe they have something to share or that you could learn from?
Will they be of value or interest to you moving forward?
When two parties meet, this dance of queries always occurs in order to help both parties determine if there is a connection worth further exploration. This is also what the exploratory interview is all about. It’s an opportunity to explore how you both could benefit for further conversation. This exploratory interview (surprise or not) is a hidden goldmine. Even if you’re not thinking about a change, it doesn’t hurt to take the call. Who knows where this could lead.
Here are three reasons why you need to be prepared for the exploratory interview:
You’re Searching for a Job: Maybe you’re deep in a job search. Perhaps you’ve floated a couple of resumes out there or recently boosted your LinkedIn profile and have sparked the interest of a recruiter. Sometimes without warning, they’ll call and start the ball rolling asking questions that help discern whether or not you’re a good fit for their organization and worth bringing in for a full interview. Your job search is suddenly underway, so get motivated. And keep in mind the exploratory interview works both ways. As an applicant, this is also a great time for you to ask questions to determine whether the organization and job are right for you.
You’re Positioned for Opportunity Attraction: Exploratory interviews are not always applicant driven. Sometimes they pop up out of nowhere. You might find yourself happily engaged in your successful career and suddenly the phone rings. A recruiter is on the line and they are curious if you’re willing to entertain the possibility of new opportunities. If you’re a go getter, you’ll never have to look for a job again. That’s the goal I have for all of my clients: I want to help them position themselves to attract opportunities so they are able to routinely entertain offers and watch their careers continue to soar. This is why the exploratory interview matters. If you’re positioning yourself to attract opportunities, expect exploratory interviews to come your way. When you pick up the phone, this exploratory interview will pave the way for career advancement.
You’ve Scheduled an Informational Interview: Informational interviews are mutually beneficial exploratory interviews so be ready to make a positive impression. These are excellent platforms for you to learn about the person with whom you are meeting, about their company, the culture of their organization and possibly any positions they think would be a good fit for you. Since you’re probably informational interviewing for networking purposes, career exploration and mentoring, you should be prepared with questions and always bring your best. Because while you’re doing most of the asking and listening, the other party is assessing whether you may be someone they would hire themselves. This isn’t a trial run, it’s a real run. So, put forth your best effort, demonstrate professionalism and take advantage of a great opportunity to not only make an impact but to also make a smart decision about your future.
How To Be Career Happy? Be Interview Ready!