How to Land an Interview for Your Dream Job with a Cold Email

Emailing people that you don’t know (and don’t know you!) is the hardest part of networking. Getting the response you want is usually a long process that requires a lot of work. But many people continue to turn to cold email to reach out to new contacts.

Whether you are asking for an interview or searching for opportunities to grow your career, cold email has become the go-to tool for many people’s success.

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Cold emailing sprung up from its older and more annoying cousin – the cold call. Today, it has become one of the most effective and affordable forms of networking. If done right, you get to meet amazing people, get great advice, and even land incredible jobs.

That is because initiative always impresses people. And working up the nerve to create a network without the help of your family, friends, or acquaintances – that takes a lot of initiative!

On the other hand, you must keep in mind that cold emailing doesn’t always work. There will be people who don’t want to take the time to connect with a stranger. And you shouldn’t hold that against them.

Instead, your focus should be on reaching out to the right people. You will be surprised at who will respond, and how often they do.

How to Land an Interview for Your Dream Job with a Cold Email

Table of Contents

Winning Formula for Cold Interview

Once you’re ready to start your job hunt, you have to figure out the right way to track down the right openings, grab the company’s attention, and make an awesome first impression. Even more, you have to do all this before you even get the chance to show off your professional abilities. Sounds like a tall order, right?

But landing a cold interview doesn’t have to be backbreaking work. Sure, you may only get the chance to wow prospective bosses online, but the very nature of cold emailing sets you up for success. Why? Because it shows that you are a proactive go-getter who knows what they want. Who wouldn’t want such a person on their team?

This may seem a bit intrusive at first. But a strategically drafted cold email to the right person can land you your dream job. It can be the best tools to start a conversation that may lead to a phone call, cold interview, and job offer in a short period of time.

The trick is finding out how to stand out from a crowded inbox. The simple fact is that you only have a short amount of time to make a killer first impression, so make it count! The only way to do this is through careful planning, even before you think about sending your first cold email.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you draft emails that will help you land the all-important cold interview:

1. Find the right person

This may sound like an obvious and simple first step. But getting the email address of people you don’t know can be a tricky prospect. You could start by doing some research on LinkedIn. Focus on people who work in your target company.

Even if they are in charge of making hiring decisions or not, do your cold email right and they will connect you to the right person. That said, it is always a good idea to go directly to the source. The company website can help narrow down your search to quickly find people in the relevant roles.

On the other hand, your best bet would be to use RooJet email search. This allows you to bypass this trial and error stage and get the email addresses of everyone on any domain. RooJet will make the process of finding email addresses a breeze.

2. Find a way to connect

There is a very thin line that separates cold email from spam, and that is personalization. Show the prospect that you have taken the time and effort to do your homework. This approach will increase your open and response rates significantly.

You can start off by searching for any mutual connections. An endorsement from a trusted mutual contact will always add extra weight to any email for a cold interview.

You could also look for shared interests, notable achievements, or memberships to the same social groups. This information will give you the chance to talk about something that is relevant to the prospect.

3. Be concise and specific

Once you start writing your email, keep it short and specific. You can use this great formula to keep your messages on track.

  • A one-sentence introduction

  • A short paragraph about why you want to connect with the prospect. What is your ask? What is the value proposition?

  • A final sentence specifying the call to action. Do you want to schedule a call? Set up a cold interview?

  • Your sign off

This easy cold email format will ensure the recipient actually wants to read and respond to your message.

It is also important to keep your email very specific. Doing so will ensure the recipient gets a clear picture of why you want to talk with them. To do this, make sure to express your interest in the company, highlight some relevant skills, and show how you’d be a good fit for that organization.

4. Make your ask small

Keep in mind that people find it much easier to say yes to small requests than bigger promises. For example, a prospect will agree to a phone call rather than to a meeting right off the bat. So, keep your ask as small as possible, at least in the first few emails.

Ideally, these emails will eventually lead to a cold interview or job offer. But starting off with the smaller ask will ensure that you get to that point. It puts the prospect at ease and drives up the chances of them responding to your emails.

5. Follow up right

Follow up is one of the most important parts of any cold email outreach. A prospect could fail to respond for one reason or another, and it’s not always because they have rejected your offer. So the only way to know where your application stands is by following up.

If you do not receive a response at least two days after sending your first email, then follow up. But don’t get into all the details that you had already provided. Instead, craft a quick message on the same thread to get their attention.

Most importantly, avoid sounding demanding or annoyed with the slow response time. After all, the prospect doesn’t owe you anything! A professional, humble – and sometimes witty – approach will score you more points.

Cold Email for Informational Interview

Many professionals know that research and networking can be invaluable when you are looking for a new job opportunity. For most, this usually involves studying corporate websites, connecting with the right people on LinkedIn, and generally staying up-to-date on industry trends and news.

But it turns out that an informational interview could be the secret weapon for any potential job seeker. It is a wildly successful mix of a job interview, networking opportunity, and info-gathering session all wrapped up in one.  

Simply put, this is an interview where the job seeker meets with a prospective employer to seek career and industry-related advice. Asking for an informational interview could also be the perfect chance to get familiar with the culture at a company that you would love to work for.

These interviews could be a valuable link to people who can directly or indirectly help you get a job. Ideally, you want a face-to-face meeting because this gives the interviewer the best opportunity to get to know you. Informational interviews are an awesome way to get information without scheduling a formal interview.

But keep in mind that people will rarely agree to an informational interview out of the goodness of their heart. If you use a cold email to land one, chances are that the interviewer has their own agenda.

They might be looking to hire an amazing candidate immediately, or for someone they could use down the road. In any case, you must treat this interview as seriously as you would a regular one.

Here are some reasons why you should ask for an informational interview:

  •    You will learn a lot of useful information and helpful insider tips about a profession that you can’t get through other means.
  •    You can also use this information to make better choices about your career.
  •    You will be better prepared for a real job interview.
  •    It can give you advanced knowledge of – or access to – job listings that are not usually advertised.
  •    It can give you some great contacts that may lead to a viable job offer.

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How to Ask for an Informational Interview

When asking for an interview, this simple formula will get you responses nearly every time:

1. Ask for help

It’s a proven fact that people like helping others. So, instead of asking for a job right away, ask for the prospect’s help. This will dramatically improve your chances of getting a response.

2. Clearly make your case

In any email asking for an interview, make your case as clearly and briefly as possible. No one wants to read extra long messages. Research shows that prospects should be able to read and respond to your email in under one minute.

3. What’s your hook?

Land more interviews by showing the prospect exactly why you want to meet them. Do you have any shared connection or admire the prospect’s career path? What about their current work stands out to you?

Whatever the case, your hook will make any cold email more personal and relatable to the prospect. This will increase your chances of success.

4. Be considerate…

When sending an email request for interview, remember that you’re basically asking the prospect to put their work on hold for you. So be careful to show that you appreciate their help!

5. Considerate…but not desperate!

Both you and the prospect know that you are looking for a job, but don’t make it obvious that you are. This is a tricky balance to achieve, but also very necessary. If you don’t do it well, the prospect will most likely push you to their company careers page or HR department.

Instead, make it clear from the outset that you want to get to this person’s insights on the industry or job, as well as their career history. After you meet and make a stellar first impression, then you can start talking about your job hunt.

Asking for an Interview Email Sample

This easy-to-use email for interview request sample will help you get more responses and – hopefully – lead to your dream job:

Hi (Prospect’s name),

My name is (your name), and I’m a (your current job title) working in (your current location).

I’m reaching out because (highlight the reasons why you want to speak with the prospect). I’d love to learn more about (mention one or two things you would like to learn from the prospect).

I’m sure you’re very busy, so even 30 minutes would be appreciated.

Thank you so much,

(Your name).

And if you have to follow up, you can use this template:

Hi (Prospect’s name),

Hope you’re having an awesome week! Just wanted to follow up on my request for an informational interview. As I mentioned in my earlier email, (mention reason why the prospect has impressed you) and I’d love to hear about (questions you would like to ask).

I’m happy to meet whenever is convenient for you. But if your schedule is too full, I completely understand.


(Your name).

Best Cold Email Subject Lines for Information Interview

Writing compelling email subject lines is both an art and a science. Fast Company proved that when they conducted their research, where they sent out 1,000 cold emails to find the perfect cold email formula. The results show that open and response rates were mainly determined by the email’s subject line.

It may seem pretty simple from the onset, but the subject line is very important to your success or failure. It is what the prospect sees first and will convince them if your email is worth opening and reading or not.

Your best bet is to create email subject lines that are short, creative, and tell the prospect exactly what to expect in the email. The value proposition must also be obvious to drive engagement. That is why practical subject lines make more of an impact than vague – almost deceitful – ones.

Here are some cold email subject lines that you can use for your informational interview requests:

  •    Really inspired by your post/article on (mention relevant title)
  •    Your recent (interview/story/article) blew me away
  •    Referred by (name of mutual contact) to discuss (mention relevant topic)
  •    Fellow alum from (mention relevant university/college) who loves (mention specific industry)
  •    Aspiring (mention relevant industry) professional looking for insights from the best
  •    Aspiring (mention dream role/position in target company) – Would love to ask you a few questions

How to Land an Interview

If you wanted to land an interview with a recruiter or HR executive, what would you write? Well, here is a foolproof guide that will help you get that interview:

1. Hook ‘em with a catchy subject lin

Write a subject line that lets the prospect know they are talking to a real person, not a spambot. Even if the name is unfamiliar, the recipient will open and read your message of it has a catchy, conversational subject line that ramps up their interest.

2. Show value

When was the last time you went out of your way to help a stranger land a job, just because they sent you an email? The answer would be never, or not too often at the very least.

Now, just flip this scenario around and apply it to you and your prospects. The same “rule of the jungle” applies!

The only way to land that interview is to offer value. Don’t just ask for things – show the prospect what you’re bringing to the table.

The best way to do this is by showing the work that you’ve already done. This shows the prospect that you’re serious about advancing your career and will increase the odds of you getting a response. You can do this by attaching a link to your website, blog, portfolio, and social media channels – as long as they are professional!

Apart from this, you could also offer various things such as product or service feedback, unique knowledge in a certain field, or volunteering to help with a particular project.

3. Make your ask

Get straight to the point and make your ask. Keep it simple, brief, and clear because the prospect will lose interest if your ask is too confusing.

Also, give a clear call to action. What is the prospect supposed to do next? Make it as easy as possible for the prospect to respond to your ask positively.

For example, you can give suggestions for a date and time if you want a meeting. But be sure to leave some room for flexibility on the prospect’s part.

4. Show your passion

Prospects want to work with passionate go-getters. So, don’t be afraid to show how excited they are to potentially work for a particular company or project.

Remember, a cold email is just like the first few minutes of any interview – you have to make a powerful first impression to advance to the next stage. In this case, passion and enthusiasm are great ways to achieve this.

However, take care that you don’t come off too strong! Keeping your cold emails short is a great way to do this. If you don’t explain yourself too much, then there is little chance of messing up.

5. Proofread it

There is nothing worse than sending out job applications that are grammatically or factually wrong. Remember, just like a cover letter, a cold email will face more scrutiny than an ordinary one. So read through your message to check for sloppy writing or typos before hitting “send.”

Cold Email for Job Interview Sample

Sample 1

Hi (Prospect’s name),

I found your post for a (job title) on (mention specific job board/website + include link to the posting). I wanted to share with you the (process/strategy/deliverable) that I already took time to develop for (name of prospect’s company).

I built it around what I know works, based on my experience on (building/developing) (name of previous company’s) (specific project/service/product). You can check out another one of my most recent projects here [include relevant link], where I helped (mention previous company’s) (outline the project specifications). This has led to (highlight the benefits).

I have a very solid background for (outline your unique skills/talents). I’m looking forward to helping (name of prospect’s company) deliver even greater value to the (mention relevant) industry.

Do you have a moment for a quick chat on (mention specific date and time)? If that doesn’t work for you, please let me know and I can work with your schedule.


(Your name).

Sample 2

Hi (Prospect’s name),

My name is (your name) from (your company/college/university name). I recently met up with (name of mutual connection) and (he/she) suggested that I get in touch with you to learn more about (launching/advancing) a career in (mention specific industry/field/company).

I’m a (recent grad/young professional), and I’d love to chat with you about your experiences at (specific company name).

Would you be free for a quick 15-minute call on (mention specific date and time)? If that doesn’t work for you, please let me know! I’d be happy to work around your schedule.

Either way, thanks for your time!


(Your name).

Sample 3

Hi (Prospect’s name),

Hope this email finds you well. I saw the (post/article/photos) about (specific title/event) – congratulations! I (mention specific takeaway).

I’m reaching out because I’m currently looking for a new position. As you know, I’ve been (your current job title) at (your current company) for (mention specific time period). However, I’m ready for a new challenge in the (mention specific industry) world.

I know that you used to work for (prospect’s company name), which is on my shortlist of dream companies. Do you still have any helpful contacts there? And if so, can you think of anyone who might be willing to do an informational interview with me?

I would really appreciate any introductions that you could make.


(Your name).


As you look for a new job or a chance to expand your career, don’t be afraid to send out some cold emails. At least with this approach, you can still hope for success even if your own network runs dry. Who knows – with the right contact, you will be able to open up a whole new world of possibilities, and even land your dream job.

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