Informational interviews are a valuable tool for anyone who is looking to gather information and insights about a particular industry, company, or job role. Whether you’re a recent graduate exploring career options, a seasoned professional considering a career change, or simply looking to expand your network, informational interviews can provide you with valuable insights and help you make informed decisions about your career.
Here are the steps to conducting an effective informational interview:
Identify the right person to interview
- The first step in conducting an informational interview is to identify the right person to interview. This may be someone who works in a company or industry you’re interested in or someone who has a job role you’re considering. You can start by looking for contacts on professional social networking sites like LinkedIn or by reaching out to your personal network to see if they can make an introduction.
Request the interview
- Once you’ve identified the person you’d like to interview, it’s time to request an interview. Be clear about your goals for the interview and why you’re interested in speaking with them. Explain that you’re looking to learn more about their career path, job role, or industry and that you’d appreciate the opportunity to ask them a few questions.
Prepare your questions
- Before the interview, prepare a list of questions that you’d like to ask. Your questions should be open-ended and designed to elicit detailed and informative responses. Some examples of questions you might ask include:
- What led you to pursue this career path?
- What does a typical day look like for you in this role?
- What do you think are the most important skills for success in this industry?
- What are the biggest challenges you face in your job?
- What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in this field?
Conduct the interview
- When it’s time for the interview, make sure you’re on time and prepared. Dress professionally and have what you need to take notes. Begin by introducing yourself and thanking the interviewee for their time. Then, ask your questions and listen carefully to the answers. Take notes and ask follow-up questions to clarify any points that are unclear.
- After the interview, be sure to follow up with a thank you note or email. Use this opportunity to express your gratitude for the interview and to reiterate your appreciation for their insights and advice. You may also want to ask if they would be open to future conversations or networking opportunities.
Informational interviews are a valuable tool for anyone looking to gain insights and knowledge about a particular industry, company, or job role. By following these steps, you can conduct an effective interview and gather the information you need to make informed decisions about your career.