Manufacturing Informational Interview

I believe the informational interview is very important for college students. It gives them an idea of what they may be getting themselves into. Students can talk to actual business professionals in a field they may be interested about. Talking to business professionals is a great way to potentially get your foot in the door with that company.

The Contact:
Title/Position: Vice President, Manufacturing and Supply Chain
Industry: Manufacturing

Questions about the Contact:

Career, Company, Industry; Skills, Success

The informational interview was conducted via email, but was still very informational. He has worked in manufacturing for several years. I respected his wishes to not have his name shared in this post. I believe its due to his high profile. I asked him several different questions. I first asked him how he started out in his profession. He said it was merely by accident actually, he went to school for something completely different. But was than fortunate enough to be sent back to school by a company. He talked about how he basically started from the bottom, and is now the vice president at his company. He has changed jobs with several different companies and moved to several different states with over 20 years of experience. He works for a company that sells very expensive products that can be customized.

Questions about Communications Practices and Writing:

Could you please describe the typical kinds of writing you do and tell me a bit about each?

My main form of communication is face to face communication in meetings with other managers. His main kind of writing is done through emails. He sends several emails to clients as well as his employees daily.

What do you find most challenging about your day-to-day writing? What challenges do recent graduates face as they move from “academic writing” to “workplace writing”?

Many emails are formal or informal so that can be tricky at times. The trouble with that is knowing where and when to draw the line for certain recipients and certain situations.

How would you describe the balance between written and oral communication in your workplace?

It’t definitely a balance between written and oral communication. I am in charge of several people, and interact with many people each day. I try to make it down to the floor each day to interact with the other employees more.

Questions seeking Advice for you:

Background, Skills, Resume, Job Search and Interviewing

I also asked him to take a look at my resume and he said it was great. He said he thinks its hard to stand out just from a resume. When he is considering hiring someone, his main question is whether or not he could go have lunch with this person. He said the best advice he could give me going into this interview or any other interview is to just be relaxed. Obviously be professional and what not, but go into it just like a normal conversation. HR managers already know your qualifications and other accomplishments before hand, now there are mostly trying to get to know you as a person.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

The interview was different experience learning from someone with so much experience. The part I learned from the most were the questions about things I could do to help myself get a job or kill an interview. I think he did a great job explaining some of the real things that go on, that you wouldn’t be aware of without the experience. I think the informational interview is a great way to understand what you may be doing one day. I think he made me feel better about going into a interview with less anxiety.