Why did I think this was so good?
1 - He let me know we had some common ground.
2 - He told me his area of expertise, so I knew immediately whether or not we were in the same field.
3 - He told me why he thought I could help him.
4 - He had already done his part by finding a specific job posting rather than asking me to conduct his search for him.
5 - I knew exactly what he wanted from me - a 15 minute conversation, and I knew what he expected from that conversation.
6 - He wanted help possibly indentifying someone he could contact rather than presuming that I would endorse him without knowing him
I highly recommend this format. It’s short, sweet and specific.
If you use this format, here are some other things I recommend when you do get the interview:
1 - Stick to the time and topic that you requested. If you want more time or to broaden the scope, ask if it’s okay.
2 - Allow some time get to know the person a little - at least enough so that you can sincerely offer to help them in some way.