Why does it feel so weird to make an "ask" at the end of a informational interview?

I've been having a few conversations per week. I've been having solid success with contacting alumni. For the life of me, I cannot make "the ask". After 5-10 minutes and when I run out of questions, I usually just say "Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, I was able to learn a lot etc" and end the conversation. I just don't know how to fit in a simple "Is there anyone who you think would share their experiences with me/would talk to me about their experiences?". The one time I asked an alumni, he said he would refer me and just never replied even when I sent a thank you email. I know it's that simple but where do I say it in the conversation?

Comments (23)

Nov 1, 2018

Just follow up then after a week or so

Nov 1, 2018

Follow up with what? I usually follow up after 1-2 days thanking them etc.

Nov 1, 2018

If you asked something via follow-up thank you email, it is okay to follow up on that email after a week or so.

Nov 2, 2018


Nov 12, 2018

at the end of the convo, try saying

"thanks for taking the time to talk with me...this conversation reinforces my initial thought that this is a career path that i'd like to transition into. What do you think would be the next steps for me to make progress into this kind of role?"

just google it...you're welcome

Nov 12, 2018

Thank you for the response. They usually say something like "Oh keep reaching out to people like this or try and get an MBA" when I ask something like this. The former I am trying and the latter I am not interested in currently. Usually it isn't anything specific, so instead of "What do you think would be the next steps for me to make progress into this kind of role?", would asking "Is there anyone else you would recommend I speak to, to learn more"?"

Nov 16, 2018

That's just their canned way of saying they don't know how to help you and don't have a position to offer. "Keep reaching out to people" and "get an MBA" sounds a lot nicer than "go f--k yourself."

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Nov 16, 2018

Maybe you are but, focus your networking. I found one company I was really set on and found an alumni, called him, called other alumni, flew out to meet with them, got introduced to others in the office, met the recruiters, got put in the pipeline for SA interviews, etc.

Everyone knows why you are calling, no one just wants to call strangers half way around the country and talk to them about their job. They respect that you are working your butt off, that you have self selected for making the effort to contact them, most just are not decision makers. If they like you, they can get you in touch with decision makers, but that is a big ask if they have never met you. It is also a big ask for them to connect you to their network. The best way to ease peoples concerns is to sell them on why you are smart and why you are talking to them, in their position, in their industry, at their company. If they know the why to all those questions and then they tell you about an opportunity for an SA position or a full time position, you need to express huge interest in it, tell them you will try to fly out (if you can) on your own dime, <----- that one is big if you can do it, I did it twice and it went over pretty well. These people need to be sold that you are low risk and that you could make them look good if they stick their neck out for you.

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Nov 16, 2018

Thank you for the reply. Was curious, "ease peoples concerns is to sell them on why you are smart", could I attach my resume to the email? I have solid IB, and 2x RE internship experiences so would saying something like "I have attached my resume for reference" be appropriate? I'm generally having a 15+min call with people so we are bonding (mostly alumni) but wasn't sure if I should just send my resume for alums who are on the fence about me.

Most Helpful
Nov 18, 2018
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