Informational Interviews Preparation and Tips
- Look up companies or professionals in your area and seek out someone who holds a position or works in a company of interest to you. Reach out to them to see if they would be willing to answer some questions you have about their work.
- Offer to meet your interviewee however and wherever is most convenient. If they prefer a phone, Skype, or email Q&A, this is still a great opportunity to learn more. If they are willing to meet in person, try to find a neutral meeting place, such as a coffee shop near their place of employment, to ensure safety of both parties.
- Go into the informational interview prepared and professional. Take the opportunity seriously, as this can be a helpful networking opportunity for you as well. Set up questions ahead of time, and make sure you are only asking questions to which you cannot find the answers through your own research. Try to look the professional up on LinkedIn to help develop some questions to ask them.
- Beforehand, ask yourself “What do I value in a work environment?” “What do I need to have in a future workplace for it to be fulfilling?” “What do I need to avoid at all costs in my future work?” The answers to these question can help you develop conversation topics with your interviewee.
- Following the interview, thank the interviewee for their time and even consider sending an email follow up to thank them. This will help create a lasting, positive impression of the interview if it could ever lead to another opportunity in the future.