Sample Informational Interview Questions

Sample Questions:

  • How did you come to pick this occupation?
  • How did you get your start in this field?
  • What is your typical day like? Is this position fairly typical, or is it different in any way based on the size of the company or in this particular industry?
  • How has your occupation changed since you began? How will these changes affect someone like me who will be entering the field in the near future?
  • What part of your job would you like to change?
  • Where do you see the future of this occupation?
  • What are other commonly-used titles for the position?
  • In what ways does this occupation satisfy any personal interests you might have?
  • If you were to develop a to-do list, what current skills would you like to upgrade and what new skills would you like to acquire?
  • Do you belong to any professional organizations?
  • What industry or professional publications do you recommend I follow?
  • What are the important "key words" or "buzz words" to include in a resume or cover letter when job hunting in the field?
  • Would you mind doing a quick critique of my resume? (This question should be considered carefully before asking. You may want to wait until after the meeting and follow up with this as a request later. In some cases, the interviewee may ask to see your resume, so bring a copy.)
  • Where do I need to improve myself to become a better candidate?
  • How would you recommend I go about an effective search for a full-time position or internship for summer?
  • Can you think of anyone else I should talk to? Would you mind if I used your name when I contact him/her?

 

Suggested preparation:

  • Do your research before meeting with the interviewee. You should have at least basic knowledge of the person’s employer and the sector and industry.
  • For optimal success in the discussion, convey your expectations ahead of time. This will allow the interviewee to prepare.
  • Send a thank you note/email as soon after the meeting as possible.