Informational Interviews 101

An informational interview is an opportunity to spend time with a professional in a career field of interest. These interviews may also be useful in a graduate school search as you explore and narrow down your options. Informational interviews can help you build your network, tap into the hidden job market, and learn unpublished details about a specific company, organization, or school. Follow the guidelines below to respect the time and energy of the professional you contact.

UGA Mentor Program participants


  • Identify a professional to contact in a career field of interest to you. See the LinkedIn Alumni Tool information on our How to Leverage LinkedIn" page for help identifying professionals to contact.
  • Research the professional and their organiza-tion/industry.
  • Reach out via phone or in writing/email to schedule a meeting.
  • Prepare for the informational interview using some of our sample questions below.
  • When arranging an informational interview, plan for the interview to take 30 minutes or less.
  • Pay close attention to the time so that you can respect the professional’s schedule.
  • It is not appropriate to ask the professional about salary. To review salary ranges and benefits within a field, check out "Glassdoor"" on our "Online Resources" page.

Sample Questions to Ask

  1. How did you get started in this field?
  2. What is your educational background?
  3. What are your major responsibilities?
  4. Could you tell me more about the company/or-ganization you currently work for?
  5. What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect of your career?
  6. What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect of your current company?
  7. What is a typical day like?
  8. What is the most common entry-level career path to get to where you are?
  9. What did you consider when selecting this field?
  10. What are some common entry-level positions (or graduate programs) in this field?
  11. What do you predict is the future of this career?
  12. What kind of individual (skills/personality) seem to do well in this field?
  13. What are important factors used when hiring?
  14. What is the best educational preparation for a career in this field?
  15. Which classes and experience would be most helpful to obtain while still in college?
  16. How does one move within the organization?What does turnover look like?
  17. How do people find out about open positions in this field?
  18. How would you describe your work environ-ment/company culture?
  19. What are areas for potential growth/decline?
  20. Which professional journals/organizations would be most helpful in evaluating the field?
  21. Who else do you recommend I talk with, and may I have permission to use your name?
  22. Can you recommend other types of organiza-tions I might investigate or contact?

Sample Script

“Hello, my name is ___. I was given your name/ found your name by ___. I am a (class year) (major) at UGA and am interested in arranging an informational interview to learn more about your journey to _____. If you are interested, please let me know when would be a good time for me to meet with you over the phone, in person, or via online video for a half hour conversation. I am happy to provide dates and times that are suitable for my schedule should you find this more convenient.”