The informational interview
An informational interview is an interview conducted to collect information about a job or a career field. An informational interview is not a job interview, rather, it’s an interview with an individual working in a career or specific job, that you would like to learn more about. When you’re interviewing for information, you are seeking information about a specific type of job or about a career field. You’re attempting to discover what the person’s job is really like, what they do, what responsibilities they have, and what it’s like to work in their job. The informational interview communicates the first hand experiences and impressions of someone in the occupation, and is directed by your questions.
Tips on How to Conduct an Informational Interview
- Regard each interview as a business appointment and conduct yourself in a professional manner
- Make clear the purpose in advance of the meeting
- Regular business attire is appropriate
- Be sure you know the name of the person you are meeting, the correct pronunciation of his/her name
- and the title of his/her position
- Arrive promptly and be prepared to wait
- Set the meeting in motion right away by introducing yourself, your current role, explaining your goals for the meeting and reassuring the person that you’ll keep the interview short
- Find out how your particular experiences fit into a career in your field of interest
- Wrap up the interview within 30 minutes
Questions to Ask:
- Please give me an overview of your education and job history
- What training did you feel was the most valuable to you (so far)?
- What skills and competencies do you need to be successful in your job?
- Who are the key people that you interact with on a regular basis?
- What are the key performance indicators or success factors in this role?
- What are your top 3 objectives that you have to accomplish this year?
- Can you give me an idea about the day‐to‐day responsibilities?
- How would you describe the work environment in this department?
- What kind of working hours are expected?
- Do you have to travel in this role? How much? Where?
- What do you like about the job? Why?
- What do you dislike about the job? Why?
- If you could change anything about your current job, what would it be?
- What part of your job really excites or challenges you?
- What is the next logical career step for you?
- I am writing my own development plan and am interested in this role. What would you suggest that I consider as development activities? Courses, a mentor, special projects,