The Separation is in the Preparation


Anytime you ask for someone’s time, even if it is just for a simple cup of coffee or a drink after work, take it seriously because you may actually be getting screened just like you would for an interview. Come prepared, dress appropriately and bring a copy of your resume in case they ask for it. Of course, make sure to have pen and paper ready to take notes and write down any advice or leads they may give you.


Preparation can beat skills! Find out everything about the company, its sustainability actions (on its website, CSR report, social media) and research the interviewers if you can. Have your list of questions for them ready. Make it a two-way conversation within at least the first 20 minutes. The more conversational, the better, so have questions ready for them about the job and company beyond anything that can easily be found on the website. Show them that you are genuinely interested and that you have done your research to prepare. Use the research you did to anticipate their needs and how you can meet them.

Image result for informational interview meme

Professional appearance matters. Even if you already know the person, always dress for success. If you are unsure of the attire, always err on the side of over dressed versus under because you can always remove a scarf or take off a jacket and tie if need be. But you’ll never be able to add on. First impressions are crucial, as humans we make snap judgments of everyone we meet almost instantly. Non verbal cues heavily influence our first impressions, so dress for success and show confidence in your abilities.

Once you have landed the interview arrive prepared. Have extra copies of your resume on hand, as general rules have two more than you think you will need. You never know when someone might be pulled into assist on the interview. Bring a pad of paper to take notes, and actually take notes on important things said; it might help if you end up moving on to a second round of interviewing. Have a copy of your references. Double check to make sure your cell phone is turned off before you enter the office.


I think it’s time for you to go land some informational interviews. Reach out and see what happens! If you found this information useful and want to learn more about landing your dream green job, consider reading our new book Sustainability Jobs.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *