What is an informational interview?
· An informational interview is one of the most valuable ways to network and learn more about specific careers or fields of interest. It entails meeting and talking with a professional who is in a field that interests you.
Who should you interview?
· One of the best ways to get started is by talking to parents, neighbors, friends, and your career counselor to see if they know anyone in the career field that interests you.
· The R-MC Alumni
· Another option is to go through the yellow pages or on the internet.
Arranging the Interview
· Contact the person who you would like to interview by phone or email. Let them know that you are an R-MC student, that you are interested in learning more about their profession and ask if they would mind meeting with you to discuss their career and answer some questions.
Preparing for the Interview
· Research the company and the person (if possible). Websites tend to have a great deal of information.
· Prepare a list of questions; this shows that you are interested and organized.
· Arrive 10-15 minutes early.
· Bring a copy of your resume just in case it is requested. The purpose of an informational interview is to learn; however, it is also a great networking opportunity and people have been offered jobs as a result of these opportunities.
Evaluation & Follow-up
· Evaluate what you learned. Did the meeting enforce your interest for this career field? Did it change your mind? Either way, realize that each person that you interview is an individual and may have very different personalities, interests, and abilities from you. Therefore, you may love a career that one person dislikes or vice versa.
· Send a thank you note to each person that you meet with and keep in touch!
Potential Informational Interview Questions
· What interested you about this type of work and how did you get started?
· What is a typical day like for you?
· What do you like most about your job? Least?
· What is your educational background? Is that typical for this field?
· What professional organizations are you a part of and which do you recommend?
· What are your future career goals?
· Do you feel that your salary compares to other occupations that require the same amount
· of education?
· What recommendations do you have for me, a student trying to learn more about this field? Or trying to get into this field?