Informational Interviews | Essential Tips

An informational interview is a conversation with a direct resource about a specific job, company, or industry. Consider this an appropriate place to begin your career research before you select a major or profession. Follow the guide below to begin your own Informational Interview!

Research Career Fields

Use resources, like CareerShift, to learn about specific industries and employers before you message anyone for an interview. This will allow you to know who you should inquire with and what you should ask.

Identify People to Interview

With your preliminary research complete, take extra care to determine the appropriate people to interview. You’ll want to ensure the people you select have adequate experience in the role or career sector you want information about.

Try conducting an advanced search on LinkedIn, exploring the university website for professors, or reviewing professional associations.

Prepare for the Interview 

Extra preparation for an interview is highly advisable. It will send a message to your interviewee that you respect their support and will show you’re actively eager to learn. To begin, draft a brief introduction of yourself and your hopes for the interview. Next, develop open-ended questions you want to ask that cannot be obtained via a quick internet search.

Initiate Contact

This step can be unnerving if you’ve never done it before, but with practice and preparation, it will get easier. Here’s are recommendation on how to proceed.

  1. Notify the person by phone or email.
  2. Clarify your intention | “I found your name in a recent article in Forbes. As a biology major seeking a career in medical technology, I wanted to see if you’d be open to a brief 30-minute chat to share your expertise on the topic.”
  3. Ask for a date and time to chat.
  4. And always be prepared to have the interview right then!