Students walking outside of the Student Center.

Informational Interview

What is an Informational Interview?

  • A conversation with someone in the field you are interested in working in, intended to help you learn what it is really like to work in that field.
  • An opportunity to identify organizations you might ultimately like to work for.
  • An opportunity to better prepare for a subsequent job interview by helping you to gather “on the spot” information.

How Can I Prepare?

  • Read everything you can find about the organization BEFORE the interview so that you can ask really useful questions. Use the Internet.

What Should I Ask?

Please describe…

  • A typical day?
  • The kinds of people who succeed/fail in this kind of job?
  • The kinds of credentials or degrees required to start in this work?
  • The skills that are needed for this work? The skills that one develops?
  • The kind of training that is available?
  • Typical entry and mid-level earnings?
  • What surprised/pleased you about this work?
  • The kind of advancement in this work? Typical career path?
  • How long people tend to stay in this position? With this organization?
  • The atmosphere in this office/organization?
  • How you got started?
  • Would you choose this field again? If not, why not?
  • What prior experiences prepared you for this work?
  • What do you like/dislike about this organization?
  • What do you think about the future of this work? This industry? This organization?
  • What is the value system of this organization? The culture?
  • How has the recession impacted your industry?
  • Has this work has made you more or less marketable outside this organization?
  • How has this position affected your personal life? Is there much overtime?
  • What do you wish someone had told you before you entered this field?