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Informational Interview

What is an informational interview?

Informational interviewing is a strategy you can use to network and research certain career fields or opportunities within a particular organization.  They provide an opportunity for you to inquire about skill and educational requirements, daily responsibilities, related occupations, typical career paths, and what is most and least satisfying about the work.  In addition, informational interview allow you to observe the work environment, obtain information about the general working conditions and inquire about information not readily available in books or online.

Informational interviewing is not an interview for a job. It can, however, help you focus your job search and assist you in developing important networking relationships within the world of work. Effective use of informational interviewing can help you make important decisions about your career.

Sample Questions to Ask

  • Tell me about your work. What are the activities and responsibilities connected with your job?
  • Please describe a routine day or week. Does this vary by employer?
  • When and in what position did you start?
  • What do you like about your job? What are the pressures, challenges, and frustrations of your work? Is this typical of the field/company?
  • What recommendations do you have for someone who would like to enter this field? Academic preparation? Needed experience?
  • Tell me about your work schedule. How many hours do you routinely work? Are you on a set schedule? Does this position require irregular hours, weekends, evenings, holidays?
  • How much control do you have over your schedule?
  • What entry-level jobs are typical in this career field?
  • How competitive is entry into this field? What is the outlook for future openings?
  • What salary range can one expect at entry-level? What is the salary for an advanced position?
  • What are the advancement possibilities? Is additional education necessary?
  • What professional publications are read by people in this field?
  • What professional organization do people in this field belong to?
  • Who else might you suggest I talk to for additional information? May I use your name to introduce myself?
  • May I contact you if I have further questions? If so, how do you wish to be contacted?

Informational Interview Video – Senior Vice President of Human Performance, Comcast


Visit the Candid Careers website to watch more videos!

Networking

What is Networking? 

  • Involves connecting with people who work in a field you are wanting to learn more about or break into
  • Is the most effective way to learn about job positions and obtain job positions
  • Does NOT involve asking for a job
  • It is all about building relationships

 How do you Network?

  • Talk to everyone about your job search or career path
  • Request informational interviews
  • Use social media to find connections – We suggest creating a LinkedIn profile to seek out individuals you are connected to who are in positions or companies you are interested in exploring
  • Attend events or conferences that give you an opportunity to mingle and meet new people in your industry area of interest – check our our events page in Handshake to find and register for upcoming opportunities to network

 Who do you Network with? 

  • Friends and family
  • Augsburg faculty and staff
  • Work contacts
  • Internship connections
  • Professional associations
  • LinkedIn connections

Networking Video

Visit the Candid Careers website to watch more videos!