Informational Interviewing

Informational Interviewing

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

  1. How did you enter this job/career?
  2. What do you do in a typical day?
  3. What are the most interesting aspects of your job?
  4. What do you like least about this career?  What do you find dull or repetitious?
  5. How would you recommend someone break into this field?
  6. What educational background is required?
  7. What kind of person would be best suited for this career in terms of personality, interest, and skills?
  8. What kind of experience or internship would be helpful in this career?
  9. Are there specific courses you would suggest for a student to take that would be particularly beneficial in this field?
  10. Is travel expected with this job?
  11. What types of training do companies give to people entering this field?
  12. What technologies are integrated into this career?
  13. What special advice would you give to a young person entering this field?
  14. 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?
  15. As a female or male, would I have any special challenges in a career in this field?
  16. How can I learn more about this career/job?
  17. What professional organizations are active and responsive in this career field?
  18. Are there any other individuals you recommend I speak with to learn more about this career?  
  19. What are some job titles of entry-level positions in the career field?  What is the career trajectory?
  20. What is a typical salary range in this field?                          
  21. What advice would you give on locating opportunities, the timeframe for applying, and the application process?