Career Exploration through Informational Interviews
Muhtar Kent is the choice candidate for this informational interview. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Coca-Cola Company, the leading international soft drinks manufacturer (Bell, 2004). Apart from his success at the helm of a thriving international company, Kent makes it his business to visit stores across the globe that sell the Coca-Cola Company soft drinks in an effort to show that indeed as much as the company manufactures soft drinks, it is really about the people (Bhargava, 2012).
Some of the appropriate questions to ask Muhtar Kent about his career granted an informational interview include:
- Can you tell me how you got to be the CEO of Coca-Cola?
- What do you like most about what you do, and what would you change if you could?
- What are the types of jobs that exist at Coca-Cola and in the industry in general?
- Where would you suggest a person investigate if the person were particularly skilled at advertising?
- What does a typical career path look like in this industry?
- What are some of the biggest challenges facing your company and your industry today?
- Are there any professional or trade associations I should connect with?
- What do you read — in print and online — to keep up with developments in your field?
- How do you see your industry changing in the next 10 years?
- If you were just getting involved now, where would you put yourself?
- What’s a typical day like for you?
- What’s unique or differentiating about Coca-Cola?
- How has running Coca-Cola differed from your expectations?
- What have been the greatest moments and biggest challenges?
These are some of the questions that will help in knowing what makes such a high-profile CEO tick, which is one of the most valuable lessons that can emanate from this informational interview. It is also important to know what he means by saying that he is in the people business (Bhargava, 2012). This is indeed phenomenal and it must be one of the secrets of the success of Coca-Cola that most companies need to learn. At the end of the day it is not just about selling cans of soft drinks, but about the people who consume the drinks and the ones who sell them.
Bennet, N., Miles, S. (2010). Your Career Game: How Game Theory Can Help You Achieve Your Professional Goals. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.
Bhargava, R. (2012). Likeonomics: How to Establish Influence, Create Passionate Customers, and Become the Most Trusted Expert in your Field. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.