An informational interview is a fantastic way to meet professionals in your prospective career field! It is often less stressful than a job interview because you are the one in control! During an informational interview you will be able to ask almost any question you may have regarding your field of interest and the answers you receive will be very valuable as they are from someone who has “real world” experience.
Who to contact: When identifying someone to interview, try to find someone in your ideal profession or field; some of your best resources are alumni of Springfield College. It would also be helpful to speak to a member of the Career Center staff for help in finding potential contacts.
How to conduct an informational interview: Regard this opportunity as a business appointment. If you have made the purpose of your meeting known, your contact should be excited to help you and answer your questions. Be on time for the interview and dress appropriately – regular business attire is usually acceptable.
Follow up: Make sure you send a thank note to everyone who participates in an informational interview with you! This typically should be done within 24 hours of the interview. You should also keep in contact with those you interviewed and follow up with any further questions you may have. By building a strong rapport with these contacts you will only help your future job search process!
Informational Interview Questions: Below are samples of questions that would are appropriate for an informational interview
- What was your undergraduate major?
- What issues influenced your career of choice?
- What educational degrees, certifications, or other credentials are required for this kind of work?
- What prior experience helped prepare you for this work?
- How did you arrive at this position?
- What skills are particularly necessary for success in this position?
- What takes place on a typical day?
- What do you find to be rewarding in this work?
- What are some problematic aspects of your job?
- Do you work alone or as part of a team?
- Are there opportunities for flexibility and creativity/
- What do you like most about your job?
- What do you like least?
- What are the expanding areas of this career field?
- Are there opportunities for professional growth and advancement?
- What are the salary ranges and fringe benefits?
- How are available positions advertised?
- Are there opportunities for travel and relocation?
- What would you strengthen in your academic background if you were in college again?
- What are some transferable skills used in this field that could be developed in other experiences?
- If you were hiring someone to work in a position similar to yours, what qualifications would you consider important? Grade point average, extracurricular activities, related experience, academic major, motivation, leadership…
- How appropriate is my background for this kind of work?
- Could you suggest some other people I might speak with concerning careers in this field?
- May I use your name when contacting them?
- What job search strategies would you suggest to facilitate employment in a career such as yours?