Brief interview definition:
Informational interview is not a job interview. The purpose of this meeting is to find out more about jobs and careers rather than getting a job.
It is a meeting in which a career seeker asks for advice about a certain career that interests him. It is more of a career meeting rather than an employment meeting.
Informational interview (also called information interview, informational interviewing or research interview) is a meeting held between two individuals: the career seeker who conducts the interview and asks the questions and a person works in that industry who answers.
This article provides a set of informational interview questions and tips for people who want to initiate this type of interview.
Informational interview tips
Why should you be interested in this interview?
This method best fits to individuals who want to gather information for exploring a new career and jobs.
Requesting an informational interview
If you want to know more about your career of interest, find people working in this industry/career and ask them set of questions. When you ask professionals about their career, most of them will suggest their first hand experience.
You will be surprised to find out how people are willing to help entry levels, career changers and students.
First of, find people from the industry to consult, present yourself and ask for advice about their career (information .. not a job) – 30 minutes meeting is an appropriate time.
How you can find and request people to interview? Friends or friends, family, networking or sending letter/email to employers.
After the informational interviewing
After this interview, you may realize that your first career choice must be shifted – it is not that dreamy career after all. One can also decide to strengthen some of his/her skills.
Several decision-making options may come out after this meeting: changing the road map of careers, deciding between different careers and even taking different career path.
Informational interviewing: questions for informational interview – examples
Below are some examples of questions for informational interview and please select the questions to ask according to your needs.
1. Why did you choose this career? Why did this career interest you?
2. Why do you want this job? Why did you choose to work for this company? What do you like about this company?
3. What was your career path? How did you get your job and your position?
4. What jobs did you do before you entered this career and occupation?
5. How to obtain the necessary qualifications needed for your job?
6. How well did your education prepare you to this career?
7. What skills do you possess for this job? What courses do you recommend me to take?
8. What experience is required? How many years are needed to obtain this experience?
9. How often do you need to update your qualifications and education? What are your professional development needs?
10. What is a typical day – duties, tasks, priorities, functions and responsibilities?
11. What are you likes and dislikes – your personal satisfactions and dissatisfaction with your job?
12. What are the various jobs and opportunities to grow in this field?
13. Do you find this job/career exiting or boring?
14. How often do you need to make changes in this occupation, in terms of – changing jobs, changing work methods etc.
15. Do you feel you keep up with the cutting edge of technology?
16. How easy (or not-easy) is for a person to progress in this career?
17. What are the best ways to enter and grow in resources in this career?
18. How is this career vulnerable to the economy downtimes?
19. How does this career affect your personal life (or lifestyle)?
20. How do you asses my qualifications and abilities to get into entry-level positions in this field?