An informational interview is a meeting with a contact who can help you learn more about a career, an industry, or even a specific organization. You can get a firsthand account to determine if the career might be a good fit for you.
Steps to obtain an informational interview
- Ask your contacts (including your Career Consultant) if they can introduce you to someone in your targeted profession. You may also be able to identify someone from a staff directory.
- When you contact the person by phone or email, introduce yourself and let them know you are interested in their profession and/or organization.
- Provide a brief statement about yourself (e.g., major, year in school) and let the professional know what you are hoping to achieve in the meeting.
- Ask if they would be willing to meet with you for approximately 30 minutes.
During your informational interview
- Show respect and professionalism by being on time, dressed appropriately.
- Be organized with a list of questions and a notepad.
- Try not to exceed the agreed upon amount of time for the interview.
- Write a thank-you note immediately afterward. If the person you interviewed suggested specific actions, report back to let him or her know the results.
- If you established good rapport with your interviewee, ask if you might maintain contact as you continue through college and begin your job search.
This Career Beam video can give you further insight into preparing for an informational interview.
After your informational interview
Reflect on what you learned during the interview and how the information might help you narrow your career focus. Arrange additional interviews and/or shadowing opportunities.