What is an informational interview? It is asking someone about what they do – it is not about asking for a job or an internship! Think of it as relationship building, beginning networking.
The primary objectives of informational interviewing:
- Investigate a specific career field
- Uncover career options you never knew existed
- Assist in narrowing (or expanding) options
- Obtain advice on where your skills might be applied
- Learn about important issues in a career field
- Broaden your own network of contacts for future reference
How to start your informational interview
“ Hello, my name is _________. I am very interested in learning more about ___________ and I would like to talk with you about what you do and the field in general.”
Sample Questions For An Informational Interview
- How did you enter this job/career?
- What do you do in a typical day?
- What are the most interesting aspects of your job?
- What do you like least about this career? And what do you find dull or repetitious?
- How would you recommend someone break into this field?
- What educational background is required?
- What kind of person would be best suited for this career in terms of personality, interest, and skills?
- What kind of experience or internship would help in this career?
- Are there specific courses you would suggest for a student to take that would be particularly beneficial in this field?
- Is travel expected with this job?
- What types of training do companies give to people entering this field?
- What technologies are integrated into this career?
- What special advice would you give to a young person entering this field?
- How do you see the jobs in the field changing over the next five years? What can I do to prepare myself for such changes?
- As a female or male, would I have any special challenges in a career in this field?
- How can I learn more about this career/job?
- What professional organizations are active and responsive in this career field?
- Are there any other individuals you recommend I speak with to learn more about this career?
- What are some job titles of entry-level positions in the career field? What is the career trajectory?
- What is a typical salary range in this field?
- What advice would you give on locating opportunities, the timeframe for applying, and the application process?