Conducting Informational Interviews
What is an Informational Interview?
An informational interview is a brief (e.g. 30-minute) conversation with someone working at a company or industry you would like to learn more about. Examples of information you could glean from an informational interview include:
- What attracted that individual to this field
- What are the pros and cons of this career track
- What are the challenges currently facing the organization or industry
- What experiences would be recommended for someone interested in this field
How Can I Set One Up?
Believe it or not, setting up an informational interview is fairly straightforward. The first step is to identify someone in a company whose job sounds interesting to you and ask them if they would be willing to meet with you. Most professionals are familiar with the term, so you can ask them for an informational interview and they will understand your request.
It is often helpful to have some sort of connection or mutual acquaintance with the person to get things started. Examples of possible avenues for finding connections include:
- Alumni listings from your institution
- First or second degree connections through LinkedIn
- Membership databases for professional societies