Using VPhD to Set Up Informational Interviews

With tens of thousands of┬ámembers, Versatile PhD probably has lots of people who can help you in your career. Why not reach out to some of them now? You do not need to be looking for a job right now. In fact, it’s better if you aren’t. Informational interviews are an extremely good way to build relationships in fields that interest you. In an informational interview, you are interviewing them to learn about their jobs and careers.

As a basic member, you have three ways to locate people to informational interview.

1) The Discussion Forums Log in, click Forums and pick which one most reflects your interests. Use the Search feature to see if there are any threads relating to a career you are interested in. Read those threads and see who posted. Maybe one of the posters is actually working in that career. Perfect!

2) The Members Directory Log in, click Members and do a keyword search using terms that might yield the type of person you are looking for. You will probably get a lot of results, because it’s only a keyword search, but patiently view each profile and there may well be a needle or two in that haystack.

3) Local Meetups Log in, click Meetups and see if there is a meetup in your area. If so, attend one and then ask people there if they know anyone who meets your criteria. If they do, great, ask them to make a personal introduction over email. They may not be VPhD members but that’s OK, you have the personal introduction.

If you find someone through the VPhD website, visit their profile and send them a PM, asking for an informational interview. They are VPhD members like you, so you already have at least one thing in common, right? Check them out on LinkedIn also, before PMing them, to make sure you have correct information about them. VPhD makes it easy to contact members directly. Easier, in many cases, than contacting them thru LinkedIn. Simply return to their VPhD profile and click Send Private Message. Say something like, “Hi, I found you on Versatile PhD and am really interested to learn more about your career. Would you be willing to let me informational-interview you, either over coffee or on the phone?” The person will then receive an email with your message. Chances are very good that they will respond.

BTW, it is good practice to keep your own profile updated, in case someone might want to contact YOU!