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An Informational Interview takes place when you meet with an employer to learn occupational information as well as the opportunity to ask career related questions.

This interview isn’t for hiring purposes or employment, but rather a chance for the job seeker to ask an employee questions. Informational interviews are very beneficial because they allow you to get a window into a potential work environment and network with a professional in the field. In the next bit I will lead you through the DO’s and DON’Ts of informational interviews so you will be prepared to make the most of them!

Before the Interview

– Arrive a few minutes early. Remember the professional is taking time out of their work day to speak with you, so be respectful.

– Dress professionally. Choose an outfit that reflects the attire employees wear at that same company.

During the Interview

– Don’t be nervous. You aren’t actually interviewing for a job, therefore the environment is less stressful.

– Ask the employer if they will look over your resume to offer any advice or critiques.

– Ask questions. Here are some typical questions that will be great to ask:

  • What are your major responsibilities and duties during a typical work day?
  • What did you receive a degree in?
  • Can you describe your career path from college until your current position with this company?
  • What skills do you look for when hiring entry-level employees?
  • What is an entry-level job like in your field and the expected salary?
  • What suggestions do you have so I can better myself to earn a job in this field? ** Take notes on what the employer says with their permission **

After the Interview

– Shake the employers hand and thank them for speaking with you.

– Jot down things you learned so you can use them in the future.

– If you feel comfortable,  add the professional contact on LinkedIn.

– Follow up with a brief thank you note

Be sure to keep in touch with your new contact, they may assist you with your job search in the future. Happy interviewing!