Informational Interviews 101
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 Informational interviews can help you build your network, tap into the hidden job market, and learn unpublished details about a specific company, organization, or school.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.
- 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
- How did you get started in this field?
- What is your educational background?
- What are your major responsibilities?
- Could you tell me more about the company/or-ganization you currently work for?
- What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect of your career?
- What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect of your current company?
- What is a typical day like?
- What is the most common entry-level career path to get to where you are?
- What did you consider when selecting this field?
- What are some common entry-level positions (or graduate programs) in this field?
- What do you predict is the future of this career?
- What kind of individual (skills/personality) seem to do well in this field?
- What are important factors used when hiring?
- What is the best educational preparation for a career in this field?
- Which classes and experience would be most helpful to obtain while still in college?
- How does one move within the organization?What does turnover look like?
- How do people find out about open positions in this field?
- How would you describe your work environ-ment/company culture?
- What are areas for potential growth/decline?
- Which professional journals/organizations would be most helpful in evaluating the field?
- Who else do you recommend I talk with, and may I have permission to use your name?
- Can you recommend other types of organiza-tions I might investigate or contact?
“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.”