Informational Interviews are Important

Informational interviews are a great way to learn more about an industry and make professional contacts in your field. There are two types of informational interviews. If you are not focused on your career search but hope to learn more about an industry, you will want to conduct research informational interviews. If you are hoping to make valuable contacts for a pending job search, you will want to perform networking informational interviews. Below are some possible research and networking informational interview questions.

Always remember that an informational interview should not be used to ask for a job. Rather, the interview should be centered on gaining industry insight and useful information. Also remember to observe common etiquette by being respectful of your interviewee’s schedule and staying within your proposed time guidelines. In many cases, people are more than happy to provide you with professional information and advice. However, do not be discouraged if someone is unable to fit you into his or her busy schedule.

**Be sure to send a thank you note after completing your informational interview!

Possible Research Informational Interview Questions:

  • Can you describe the current issues and trends within this industry?
  • What is a typical working environment like in this industry?
  • What is your role in the organization?
  • What is a typical day like for you?
  • What background is necessary for persons in the field?
  • What are some of the most important skills for people in this industry?
  • What do you like best about your job?
  • What do you like least about your job?
  • Is there a typical career path for people in this field?
  • What is your advice for someone looking to enter this field?
  • Do you have any suggestions for publications or articles I should read about this field?
  • Can you suggest any other people I could talk to? Do you mind if I use your name as a referral?
  • Can I please have one of your business cards?

Possible Networking Informational Interview Questions:

  • What is your role in the organization?
  • What path did you follow to obtain this role?
  • What do employers look for in job candidates looking to enter this field?
  • What are the top five skills necessary for someone to succeed in this industry?
  • Can you describe the employment outlook for new college graduates in this field?
  • Do you expect job opportunities to grow in the future?
  • What is the best way to find out about job opportunities in this industry?
  • Can you suggest any other people I could talk to? Do you mind if I use your name as a referral?
  • Can I please have one of your business cards?
  • I am/will be looking for a position in this area. Would you mind if I left a resume with you if you hear of any positions that come available?