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I Didn’t Know That: What’s an Informational Interview

Informational interviews – just like they sound – are a great way to collect information about a company or career field you are interested in. They flip the script on a standard job interview, and YOU get to ask the questions.

If you’re exploring major or career options, an informational interview can help you get a practical perspective on a field or industry you are considering. Plus it’s one of the best ways to build professional relationships, especially if your goal is to work for a specific company.

How do they work? You contact professionals in your field of interest – LinkedIn is a great place to start for this – and ask if they’d be willing to meet with you to answer a few questions. Do some research and prepare a list of questions in advance.

Questions like:

  • What a typical day looks like
  • What they enjoy and what is most rewarding about their job
  • What is most challenging about their job
  • What steps can you take to prepare yourself for a career in this field

Find more sample questions and tips at Career Services.

Don’t forget to be on time, be gracious, and follow up with a thank-you note within 24 hours.