|An informational interview is a very powerful networking tool. It is an opportunity to meet someone in your field and ask them questions to get a real world perspective.|
|Setting up an informational interview|
|Just like with any type of networking, you want to begin by introducing yourself to your contact either by phone or letter. Let them know how you got their name and why you are calling. Be specific about what you are looking for, and how they can help.|
|Before the interview determine what information you want to learn from your contact. You will be taking the lead in the meeting and asking the questions. The person you are meeting probably only has a limited time available, so use it wisely.|
|Informational Interview Suggested Questions:|
How long have you worked in this job?
How long have you worked for this organization?
What are your major responsibilities?
What are the criteria on which your performance is evaluated?
What do you perceive to be the major rewards of the job?
What do you like most about this work?
What skills and personal qualities do you feel are necessary for success and satisfaction in this type of work?
What are the major frustrations in this job?
What are the most frequently recurring problems?
What job, if any, in your organization would you prefer above your own?
Do you have any long-range goals in this kind of work?
If you were to resign from this job, what kind of work would you seek?
What general advice would you give to a person considering a job like yours?
How did you obtain this position?
In your estimation, how difficult is it to obtain an entry-level job in this field?
What particular job hunting strategies or advice would you give to someone searching for an entry-level job in this field?
What would you suggest as the best academic and experiential preparation for preparing to enter this field?
What is the entry- level salary?
|When you are meeting with someone|
|After a meeting|
|It is critical that you follow up after the meeting. You absolutely need to send a thank you note. You not only want to reiterate your appreciation for the person giving you their time, but you want to continue to cultivate that relationship. A little thanks can go a long way.|