How To Sell Yourself In An Interview: 15 Effective Tips

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Selling yourself in an interview can seem a bit intimidating at first. Many job-seekers know it's important, but they have no idea where to start (or what it even means). This guide will teach you how to sell yourself in an interview and make a fantastic impression while doing so. What Does it Mean to Sell Yourself in an Interview? When you hear the term "selling yourself" in a job interview, it means that you're detailing exactly why you would be an asset to the company. And really, that should be the priority of any job interview you participate in. You want to make yourself as appealing to the hiring manager as possible, providing all the information they need to conclude that you're the must-have candidate. Many people are familiar with the... Read more

Avoid these words and phrases when writing your cover letter

By VA Careers | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

We've shared the reasons you should write a cover letter when you apply to VA, and even some tips to make your cover letter shine, but did you know there are some common pitfalls you could be avoiding? When you're drafting your cover letter, every word matters, so to make the most of that space (and the reviewer's time), there are some words and phrases that are better to avoid. "To whom it may concern". There are those of us old enough to remember that this was once an acceptable way to begin business communications, but times have changed, and you need to change with them. Addressing your cover letter with "To whom it may concern" is now considered too impersonal, and some hiring managers even take it as a sign that you aren't all that interested in the job.... Read more

32 Good Informational Interview Questions To Ask

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

If you plan on conducting an informational interview, it's important to be prepared. This is an incredible opportunity to learn about an industry, career path, or company. Don't waste it! This list of good informational interview questions will help you extract valuable information from experienced professionals while also making a good impression. What is an Informational Interview? An informational interview is an opportunity for you to learn about an industry, company, or role. It's not the same thing as a job interview. There are no positions on the line, and you're the one asking questions to a working professional. Informational interviews are really just conversations that let you hear the stories of working professionals with jobs you're interested in having one day.... Read more

Innovations in telehealth care offer new resources and opportunities

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

When it comes to providing the best care to Veterans, we don't let distance slow us down. We always push ourselves to expand our services and improve the way we provide treatment and prevention. A unique outreach. While recent years have taught us all new ways of communicating online, staff at the VA Cincinnati Health Care System have taken things once step farther, innovating their efforts to provide "TeleRehabilitation" — occupational, physical and speech therapy services through telehealth as an alternative to in-person care. The demand for telehealth options has increased in recent years at the Cincinnati VA, especially for Veterans living with neurodegenerative conditions, which led to the TeleRehabilitation program. Backed by our Office of Rural Health... Read more

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How To Sell Yourself In An Interview: 15 Effective Tips

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Selling yourself in an interview can seem a bit intimidating at first. Many job-seekers know it's important, but they have no idea where to start (or what it even means).

This guide will teach you how to sell yourself in an interview and make a fantastic impression while doing so.

What Does it Mean to Sell Yourself in an Interview?

When you hear the term "selling yourself" in a job interview, it means that you're detailing exactly why you would be an asset to the company. And really, that should be the priority of any job interview you participate in. You want to make yourself as appealing to the hiring manager as possible, providing all the information they need to conclude that you're the must-have candidate.

Many people are familiar with the idea of selling a product to a consumer. But in this case, the product is you, and the consumer is the hiring manager. When it comes to selling yourself in an interview the goal is to highlight your qualifications, show why your skills would be an asset in this role, and set yourself apart as a candidate worth remembering.

How to Sell Yourself in an Interview

Selling yourself in a job interview requires more than spouting off a bunch of facts the hiring manager can easily find on your resume. It's about creating an entire package and leaving a lasting impression from the moment you walk into the office.

Here are some tips that make all the difference.

Find Out Who You'll Be Talking To

A big part of preparing for a job interview is doing research. Looking into the company and position itself is always a plus. But if you really want to sell yourself, find out who you'll be speaking with during your interview.

You don't need to know their entire life story, but you should understand their role within the company. This detail matters because what's important to one person might not be as important to another.

For example, a C-suite executive will likely be more interested in your interests and how you fit into the company. Meanwhile, a hiring manager wants to know what you'll bring to this position, and a human resources representative is more interested in your qualifications.

Knowing who you'll talk to can help you mold your image and develop appropriate responses.

The best way to find out who you'll be interviewing with is to ask when the interview is scheduled.

Ask Good Questions

At some point, the interviewer will turn things around and allow you to ask questions. Don't be one of those candidates that says they have all the information they need and ends the conversation. This is a chance to set yourself apart!

Think of some insightful questions that cement your interest. Think outside the box and ask about details that most people wouldn't consider bringing up. Not only do unique questions instantly make you stand out, but it shows that you did your research.

You can pull from your own experiences with the company, ask about the bigger picture, or even refer to recent news that went public. Whatever the case, create a list of unique questions the interviewer doesn't hear regularly. This is an effective and underrated way to sell yourself in a job interview.

Practice Talking About Yourself

For some people, talking about themselves comes naturally. But for others, it can feel awkward. There's a time and a place to be humble, but this isn't it.

If that's you, learning how to sell yourself in an interview will require you to get past this hurdle. Get comfortable talking about your accomplishments. That doesn't mean you have to boast or be overly braggy. But you should feel fine bringing up the things you're proud of in your career.

Think about your past career accomplishments and reflect on how they came to fruition. What did you do to get there? Those details make all the difference and paint a memorable picture of your skills and qualifications.

Study the Main Points You Want to Mention

Before the interview, list all the main points you want to hit. You have limited time to state your case, and it's easy to forget little details when answering questions. Keep yourself on track by studying the information that matters.

Look at the job description to understand what the hiring manager is looking for. Then, reflect on your strengths, past experiences, educational qualifications, and more. Memorize the main points demonstrating why you're the best candidate for the job.

Get comfortable reciting them so you can effortlessly sell yourself during the interview. You can easily incorporate these details into the answers you provide.

You want those critical points in the back of your mind to explain why you're worthy of a job offer.

Show Them That You're Excited About the Position

A little enthusiasm goes a long way.

You'd be surprised by how much your level of excitement matters. Hiring managers want people who are naturally motivated and passionate about the job. It doesn't matter if you have terrific qualifications. If you're not genuinely interested in this job, most companies will pass you over in favor of someone who is.

During your research, find details about the job that excites you. Bring them up during your interview! Talk about what you love about this opportunity and reassure the interviewer that you're 100 percent in and ready to dive into the job.

Give Examples of What You've Achieved

It's one thing to say that you were successful in previous jobs, but it's another to provide concrete examples.

Everyone who is trying to sell themselves in a job interview will say that they work hard and have a number of achievements to point to in their career. But what evidence do you have about those accomplishments? Most interviewers will gloss over vague statements.

However, they'll remember the specifics.

Provide numbers if you can. For example, if you were a fantastic salesperson, talk about the revenue you brought in. Give those all-important sales figures to make it clear you know your stuff.

No matter what your profession is, find a few examples that illustrate your skills.

Keep the Needs of the Company in Mind

Don't assume that this conversation is all about you. While the interviewer is trying to learn more about what you have to offer, the best way to sell yourself in an interview is to focus on the company's needs. Lean into what they're looking for and tell them exactly why you're what they need!

Study the job description and research the company to learn more about its goals. Once you understand what hiring managers are looking for, you can explain how you fit what they are looking for.

Connect the dots between their needs and your qualifications. If they're looking to increase revenue, tell them how you've done that for previous employers. If it's to solve a specific problem, discuss the skills or experience you have that can help them do this.

Don't get so caught up in the process of selling yourself that you forget why you're there. If you keep the company's needs in mind when responding to questions and asking some of your own, you'll be in great shape.

Highlight How You Plan to Approach the First Couple of Months on the Job

Here's a great way to sell yourself in an interview. Don't wait until you have a job offer to develop a plan of attack. Have a rough plan ready to discuss during the interview!

Nothing wows interviewers more than being able to detail precisely what you will do in your first few months. It shows that you're serious about this opportunity and ready to hit the ground running from day one.

Create a plan that addresses the company's unique needs. You don't have to get super detailed, but it pays to have a general strategy in mind.

Don't Drone On

Have you ever had to listen to someone tell a long, boring story? There's a good chance that you don't remember a thing they said. Instead, you remember how much they rambled on.

Many people who want to learn how to sell themselves during an interview struggle with this. They get so caught up in the process of saying what they can do that they tell the interviewer every detail of their career.

Don't be that person!

Keep your answers concise and to the point. Here's where practice makes a difference. When you know what you need to say and how to convey your ideas, you can get straight to the meat of your responses instead of wasting time with meaningless fluff.

Work on Answering Behavioral Interview Questions

Interviewers love to ask behavioral questions. It's a tactic that forces you to think about what you'd do in specific situations. For example, they might ask how you'd respond to disagreements in the workplace, what you'd do when presented with significant challenges, etc.

It's not hard to find example behavioral interview questions to help you prepare. Do some research and practice providing concise responses. Many interview experts recommend the S.T.A.R. method. S.T.A.R. stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

With behavioral interview questions, you should set up the situation, talk about the task or goal, discuss what actions you took, and highlight the positive result.

Don't Forget to Smile

It sounds cheesy, but smiling makes a big difference. No one likes to work with people who seem too strict or unpleasant. A warm smile can make you stand out from the crowd, reassuring hiring managers that you're a joy to have around.

Interviews are serious, but that doesn't mean you can't practice basic pleasantries. Not only that, but smiling will help you feel more relaxed and confident!

Know Your Resume

Most job-seekers spend a lot of time perfecting their resume. But once they finish it and start submitting applications, they forget what details were included. To avoid this, refer to your resume frequently so you feel comfortable talking about anything that it contains.

You never know what questions the interviewer will ask. They might want more details about a job you had several years ago. You won't be able to sell yourself or deliver a memorable answer if you don't remember what they're referring to.

Be Mindful of Your Body Language

In addition to smiling, pay attention to your body language. You give off many non-verbal cues when you walk into an interview room. Everything from the way you stand to how you hold your head matters.

Confidence is incredibly important when trying to sell yourself in an interview. That means standing with a straight back, holding your head high, and giving a solid handshake. Eye contact throughout the interview is crucial, too.

Try doing some mock interviews with friends or family. Have them focus on your body language. You don't always know how you come off until someone points out glaring issues.

Understand what your body language says, and spend time in front of the mirror to correct it.

Dress to Impress

What you wear makes a difference during a job interview. Arriving in jeans and casual clothes isn't the best look. You want to make a great impression, and clothing is an effective way to do that.

Research that company beforehand and learn more about their dress policy. A good rule of thumb is to wear something slightly more formal than the company's dress code requires.

The only exception is if everyone is wearing a suit and tie. You can't do much better than business formal. In that case, match the dress code to a tee.

Wrap Things Up with Purpose

If you want to learn how to sell yourself in an interview, get comfortable with the idea of developing a solid closing statement. In many cases, the last thing you say is what an interviewer will remember most. So why not go out with a bang?

Prepare a brief statement that sums up your skills and qualifications (and make sure to deliver it within the flow of conversation). By all means, if you want the job, let them know. Reiterate your interest in this position and leave the interviewer with something positive to remember.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know how to sell yourself in an interview, all that's left is the preparation!

Refer to this list and spend some extra time on anything that seems particularly challenging. By the time you're done, you'll be ready to ace the interview.

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Avoid these words and phrases when writing your cover letter

By VA Careers | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

We've shared the reasons you should write a cover letter when you apply to VA, and even some tips to make your cover letter shine, but did you know there are some common pitfalls you could be avoiding?

When you're drafting your cover letter, every word matters, so to make the most of that space (and the reviewer's time), there are some words and phrases that are better to avoid.

"To whom it may concern"

There are those of us old enough to remember that this was once an acceptable way to begin business communications, but times have changed, and you need to change with them.

Addressing your cover letter with "To whom it may concern" is now considered too impersonal, and some hiring managers even take it as a sign that you aren't all that interested in the job. To start your cover letter off right, take some time to dig into the company or location where you've chosen to apply and find the person you want to speak to directly.

A simple search through the company profile and some HR specific terms like "hiring manager" or "human resources consultant" will offer you some insight into who you're addressing. Once you have that information, you can personalize not only your greeting, but other content in the cover letter, as well.

"Your company"

Another phrase that's a little too impersonal is "your company." Indirect references to the place of employment are not only dry, but also imply the possibility that you just copied and pasted your cover letter from another application.

The phrase also carries an incorrect connotation. The person reviewing the applications isn't likely to be the CEO or the big boss, so referring to their place of employment as "your company" implies a level of ownership that probably isn't accurate.

Rather than leaning on a bland and indirect phrase, use the name of the agency or company. Much like finding the name of the hiring manager, making specific references to the company helps you personalize your cover letter and shows the reviewer that you're paying attention.

"Feeling" words

Up until now, we've encouraged you to make your cover letter feel more personal, but let's not make it too personal. As we share things about ourselves or try to express our interest in the position, we might lean on words and phrases that we think convey our interest: "I feel" or "I love."

"Feeling" words run the risk of making your cover letter sound too personal. Remember, you're applying for a job, and the hiring manager isn't concerned with how you feel or what you love. They're interested in finding the best person for the job, and your best tactic is to let the facts speak for themselves.

Even a phrase like "I believe" might seem like a good substitute, but it can also be interpreted as a lack of confidence. Again, stick to the facts of what make you the best candidate and speak directly to your skills and experience.

"I would be a good fit."

Consider "I would be a good fit" an addendum to the advice above about "feeling" words. Why? It's more direct, isn't it? You're not expressing your feelings as much as making a statement and asserting your confidence that you're best for the role, right?

All true; however, using a phrase like "I would be a good fit" is still expressing an opinion, which runs the risk of alienating your reader. Also, it's a tad bit redundant. After all, you wouldn't be applying for the job (and especially writing a cover letter) if you didn't think you were a good fit for the role.

Again, let your experience and skills define the content of your cover letter. Show what you bring to the role, rather than telling someone to take your word for it.

Work at VA

If you can avoid these common pitfalls when it comes to making your cover letter shine, you'll have a much better chance at landing that VA job you've been looking for.

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32 Good Informational Interview Questions To Ask

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

If you plan on conducting an informational interview, it's important to be prepared. This is an incredible opportunity to learn about an industry, career path, or company.

Don't waste it!

This list of good informational interview questions will help you extract valuable information from experienced professionals while also making a good impression.

What is an Informational Interview?

An informational interview is an opportunity for you to learn about an industry, company, or role. It's not the same thing as a job interview. There are no positions on the line, and you're the one asking questions to a working professional.

Informational interviews are really just conversations that let you hear the stories of working professionals with jobs you're interested in having one day.

It's a great way to expand your knowledge, grow your professional network, and even gain more visibility for potential opportunities in the future.

The Best Informational Interview Questions

There's a lot to learn during an informational interview, but you must ask the right questions first. If someone is taking time out of their busy schedule to meet with you, it's only right that you come prepared. Having a list of thoughtful informational interview questions to ask will make the time productive for everyone and also help you make a good impression.

Here's a comprehensive list of good questions to ask in an informational interview.

Can You Share a Bit About Your Professional Background?

The focus of an informational interview is not on you. It's a nice change of pace from traditional job interviews, allowing you to flip the script and learn without all the pressure. There's no better way to start a discussion about one's career than to ask about their background.

Their response can teach you a lot about how this individual got into the industry. You might learn about specific skills or educational tracts they took to lead them to this point.

Even though you are asking this question, you should still research the person you'll be meeting with. Look at their full LinkedIn profile, search for their name online and know about about what their career path has been.

Did Anything Surprise You About Working in Your Role or in This Industry?

Even if you've done thorough research about a new role, this is good question to ask. It's impossible to know every detail, and surprises are bound to come up. Inquiring about what surprised your interview subject is a fantastic way to get insider information you might not hear anywhere else.

This informational interview question often unveils newfound information you never thought to ask. It'll provide greater insight and help you get a different perspective on the position.

What's a Normal Day Look Like for You?

It's always a good idea to ask about the day-to-day life of someone working in positions that interest you. Jobs can look compelling on paper. But in reality, they can be completely different.

Some jobs look glamorous but require more monotonous daily routines. This is a good informational interview question because it gives you a better breakdown of the types of activities involved. It also provides a more personal view of what it's like to be a working professional in a particular field. Learn about daily responsibilities and determine if they genuinely interest you or are what you expect.

What Types of Decisions are Most Important for Someone in Your Role?

Every job comes with the pressure of making tough decisions. For some professions, choices can make or break an individual's or company's success. Learning about those decision-making processes can shed light on what the role entails.

In answering this question, your interviewee can tell you more about what types of decisions their job entails. Discover how they find solutions to common problems, prioritize aspects of the job, and how much weight those decisions hold.

What Made You Want to Work in This Industry?

Learning about an interviewee's origin story is an excellent way to see how your background compares. Again, this conversation isn't about you. But, you can look at your own experiences, compare them to this professional's career path, and gain more insight into the steps you should take.

Maybe this person had similar interests to you, and they took specific steps to unveil a unique career path you never thought possible. Whatever the case, you'll learn about it with this informational interview question.

Have You Found it Difficult to Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance in This Industry?

If work/life balance is important to you, this is a good informational interview question, but it's a little more personal than others on this list. Because of that, it's a good idea to wait until you've developed a nice rapport with the interviewee before jumping into details like this.

Asking about work/life balance is crucial and everyone has different expectations. Almost every person has goals outside of their career. Learning about how your dream job fits into that equation can provide peace of mind and prepare you for whatever lies ahead.

Did You Ever Work as an Intern to Break Through into the Industry?

Many career paths involve internship roles. Interning is a great way to get your foot in the door and pave the way for future opportunities. However, that's not always the case.

This question serves two purposes. First, it helps you understand your next career moves. If an internship is necessary, you'll know to start your search.

Secondly, you can use it as an opening to ask about possible internship positions they might know about. Who knows? They could pass along your name and help you land a position.

How Useful Has Your College Education Been on Your Career Path?

Education is always important but doesn't significantly impact every career path.

For some positions, it's paramount. For example, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals need high-level degrees and years of education.

But for more creative jobs, it's all about work experience. Education takes a back seat to talent and know-how.

Asking this question in an informational interview clarifies how important a degree is when pursuing your chosen career.

Are You Involved with Any Notable Projects You Can Tell Me About?

Here's a chance for your interviewee to talk about what they love about their work! It gives them the opportunity to talk about projects they're proud of the most. Plus, it gives you insight into some things you might work on in the future.

Asking this question lets you learn about projects run, what it's like to deliver the finished product, and the impact you could have in this particular position.

Can You Tell Me What Part of Your Work is the Most Rewarding?

Jobs can have a bevy of rewards. Some are monetary, while others are more personal. Encourage your interviewer to talk about both.

This is a great time to learn about salaries and benefits. You can dig deeper to understand how compensation works and what the job demands.

On a more personal level, this informational interview question unveils how the job makes them feel. Maybe they experience immense pride in their output or feel good about their contributions. Either way, learning about the rewards is always a plus.

What is the Most Challenging Thing About Your Position?

With great rewards come significant challenges. This question is about lifting the veil and understanding the realities of a position. For many people, all they see is a job's glamorous side.

This question invites the interviewee to address the roles' challenges and gives insight into the not-so glamorous aspects of the job or company.

What Do You Like Most About Your Job?

Of course, you don't have to focus on the more challenging aspects of a position. This question highlights what interviewees enjoy most about their job. Whether that's something in their day-to-day life or a reward they can't help but appreciate, this question allows them to discuss it.

It also lets you know more about the joys of the position and what you might expect if you go down a similar career path.

What Do You Like Least About Your Job?

Now, onto the more negative aspects. No job is perfect. It's not wise to focus exclusively on the positives.

Doing so may give you a skewed view of working in this position or industry. Asking this informational interview question provides balance and helps you decide if this is the right path for you.

How Can Someone Prepare Themselves to Take on a Position Like Yours?

This is easily one of the best informational interview questions you can ask. It provides actionable insights and can help you form a plan to get to where you want to be.

Every job is different. Some career paths require years of education. Others need internships and a long climb up the corporate ladder. Whatever the case, preparing yourself for what lies ahead is important.

With this question, your interviewee can give you honest advice that you can put into action. Learn what it takes to get where they are and apply it to your plans.

Is There Anything You Wish You Knew Before Choosing This Career Path?

Most people have those "would have, should have" moments in their careers. While missteps and unexpected surprises don't always impact the end goal, they can change how you get there.

Asking about what an individual wished they knew can set your expectations and prepare you for aspects of your journey you didn't think about. Like other good questions to ask in an informational interview, it keeps you grounded in reality and prepares you for whatever comes next.

What Skills Do You Rely on the Most?

Here's your chance to get even more actionable information. You'll see a long list of skills when you look at job listings. But the position you want could require even more. Not only that, but there's likely a set of core skills that are more pivotal to success in that role.

Asking about those details makes a big difference. It helps you figure out where you should focus your attention, equipping you with the knowledge you need to create a solid roadmap to get to where you want to be.

This question offers valuable information, so pay attention and apply what you learn to your journey.

Did You Ever Have a Mentor?

Having a mentor can be game-changing. Mentorships are an essential asset that can help you reach your full potential. However, they're not always necessary in every career.

If they are paramount to the job you want, ask how to reach out to mentors. You can also inquire about how to make the most out of the relationship to future your career.

The Salaries in This Field Seem to be X-Y. Is That Correct?

Inquiring about salaries can be a bit awkward, and it's best not to ask directly about what your interviewee makes. Most people like to keep that information private, and digging too deep into those details might not be well-received.

Instead, ask generally about salary ranges for the role. Most people are more than willing to give you some average salary information. They may even unveil opportunities to make more, what skills you can learn to provide you with the upper hand in salary negotiations, etc.

Do You Have Any Unconventional Skills or Experiences That Help You Today?

Here's another good informational interview question to ask. It serves one important purpose: Helping you get ahead of the curve. Some positions evolve to require skills that might not appear on job listings.

Learning about them can help you prepare, paving the way to help you become a competitive candidate in the future.

If You Had to Start Your Career from Scratch, What Would You Do Differently?

Careers evolve, and positions change. What's normal now may not be the norm later. Many professionals experienced that firsthand in the last few decades as digital technology became mainstream.

While interviewees can't turn back the hands of time, they can pass on helpful advice during an informational interview. This question allows them to share potential regrets, ensuring you don't make similar mistakes.

Whether that means future-proofing your skill set or learning specific soft skills to make your job easier, this advice makes a big difference.

What is the Company Culture Like?

Company culture affects your day-to-day. In some cases, it can make or break your success.

Ask about the company culture at the organization your interviewee works for. You can also ask about the culture in the industry as a whole.

Sometimes it's difficult to define company culture so you may want to be more specific and ask about the leadership, values, recognition, employee engagement, or feeling of belonging.

Use what you learn to determine if the job is right for you, your lifestyle, and how you work.

What's it Like Working at Your Company?

Every company operates differently. You can have the same job at two different organizations. However, the experience will be vastly different.

This question gives you a better idea of what it's like working for a specific company you might be interested in applying for later.

Since this is a pretty open question, it gives the interviewee the chance to highlight what they think is most noteworthy (good or bad) about their company.

How Do You See the Next 5 to 10 Years Going for You Professionally?

This informational interview question focuses on career advancement. You might talk to someone with years of experience, but do they feel there is still room for growth or development.

Learning how your interviewee feels about their future can tell you a lot about what you can expect. It unveils information about job security, growth opportunities, and more.

Is There a Certain Personality Type That Tends to Dislike This Job or Industry?

Here's a seemingly oddball question. However, it matters more than most realize.

Some jobs simply aren't great fits for certain personality types. For example, a sales job isn't the best for an introvert who hates speaking to strangers.

It's a simple question that can help you understand how you fit into an industry.

Were You Ever Interested in Any Other Career Paths?

Career paths are not always straightforward. Some people discover their true calling through what seems like a random occurrence of events.

Ask about what your interviewee previously explored. Their answer could help you uncover new possibilities. It'll help you explore new career avenues and see what's out there.

Are There Any Certifications That Can Give Those in Your Position an Advantage?

Any kind of competitive edge you can get is worth knowing about. Some careers require specific licenses and certifications. In others, those certifications may be optional.

However, it's worth pursuing them to get a leg up on other job-seekers. Ask this informational interview question to learn about the certifications you can get and how they might impact your prospects in the future.

What are the Hours Like?

A question like this is straightforward, but it's one you can't forget to ask. It's about seeing if the work schedule works for your lifestyle and personal goals.

Some jobs have manageable hours. Others require you to work long hours or be on call 24/7. Know what you're getting into before diving into the deep end!

Are There Any Industry Associations or Sources for Professional Development I Should Know About?

Like earlier with certifications, some industries have optional associations you can join. Ask about them! These associations can be a fantastic way to learn more about the industry, make new networking contacts, and more.

They also serve as a way to develop your career further. Explore membership options and see what published sources you can use to prepare for your dream job.

How do you stay current with what's happening in your industry?

Similar to the question above, asking this informational interview question can expose you to useful resources.

Learning about which publications, podcasts or other resources are valuable saves you a lot of time and research. Asking this question of everyone you meet will provide you with a collection of resources to help you grow, learn and stay up-to-date on industry trends.

Is There Anyone Else in This Field That You Think I Should Speak to?

An informational interview is an excellent way to learn from someone actively working in a profession. It's an invaluable source of information, and this single interviewer can shed tons of light on jobs that interest you.

However, it's also good to get multiple perspectives. Ask about other people you can interview. The individual you're speaking to now likely has more substantial contacts than you, and they might connect you with someone with even more valuable insight to offer.

Have I Missed Any Questions You Think I Should Ask?

This informational interview question is more of an open door for the interviewee. Hopefully, you've done your homework and asked all the necessary questions. But the person you're meeting with might have some additional insight to offer.

This question opens that door and keeps the conversation going a bit longer. They might offer tips and other helpful information you didn't think to ask about.

Do You Mind if We Stay in Touch?

Lastly, don't forget to ask about staying in touch. This interview doesn't have to be the last point of contact you have with this individual. You're lucky enough to spend time with them and hear their story.

Use this meeting to build your network. Inquire about making connections on networking sites and social media. They might remember you for an opportunity in the future and help you connect with other people in the industry (which is why it's always a good idea to take this conversation seriously).

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, all of the best informational interview questions will provide you with valuable information that can be used to further your career. All you need to do is ask them!

Use this list as a reference and pick your favorites before you begin the conversation. You'll be glad you did!

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Innovations in telehealth care offer new resources and opportunities

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

When it comes to providing the best care to Veterans, we don't let distance slow us down. We always push ourselves to expand our services and improve the way we provide treatment and prevention.

A unique outreach

While recent years have taught us all new ways of communicating online, staff at the VA Cincinnati Health Care System have taken things once step farther, innovating their efforts to provide "TeleRehabilitation" — occupational, physical and speech therapy services through telehealth as an alternative to in-person care.

The demand for telehealth options has increased in recent years at the Cincinnati VA, especially for Veterans living with neurodegenerative conditions, which led to the TeleRehabilitation program. Backed by our Office of Rural Health, Cincinnati VA offers Veterans the opportunity to improve their health from the comfort of home.

One 92-year-old Veteran participated in the TeleRehabilitation program to help manage his Parkinson's disease. Over the course of eight TeleRehabilitation sessions, the team worked to improve his mobility around the home, as well as something so simple as his handwriting.

"Sometimes I write my name and it looks better than it ever has before," said the Veteran.

Ever-expanding opportunities

Even as we innovate and find new ways to reach our Veterans, continued investment in our telehealth services will allow us to maintain the broad spectrum of clinical care we've developed. Meanwhile, expanding our telehealth operations will offer care to even more patients in more specialties, which means more job opportunities in a variety of fields.

For example, VA's National Oncology Program is hiring oncologists for its National TeleOncology service. Based at the Durham VA Medical Center, our cancer specialists around the country work through this main hub from their local office, providing care virtually and giving patients access to a broader window of expertise.

Elsewhere, many Veterans have joined telehealth nutrition programs. The virtual aspect makes these programs convenient and accessible, and VA nutritionists have greater access when it comes to addressing weight management, or focusing on conditions related to nutrition, like diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol.

A career that counts

Over nine million Veterans count on us for quality health care, infused with a deep understanding of their complex needs and the challenges they face. Efforts to expand that care through Cincinnati's TeleRehabilitation program illustrates that careers at VA are constantly evolving.

Whether you're a clinical expert, like a physician or a nurse care manager, or a specialist with a particular focus like occupational therapy, we innovate new ways to care for Veterans, whether it's in a care center or at home.

We start every day with a fresh commitment to making life better for the brave men and women who risk so much to protect our freedom and our country, because we believe it's up to all of us to make sure Veterans can enjoy the health and happiness they deserve.

"I feel back where I belong now that I can be with my wife again," our Veteran from Ohio said.

Work at VA

As we continue to evolve how we care for Veterans, careers in telehealth are a great way join our team in a variety of fields.

  • READ about our investments in telehealth opportunities.
  • LEARN more about our telehealth
  • EXPLORE telehealth careers at VA.
  • SEARCH for a job near you at VACareers.va.gov.

NOTE: Positions listed in this post were open at the time of publication. All current available positions are listed at USAJobs.gov.

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