Informational interviews are discussions that career explorers have with individuals who are working in fields that interest them. For example, a career explorer interested in medical laboratory technology may visit or call a local lab and ask to speak with one of the technologists working there, asking him or her specific occupation-related questions. At the end of an Informational Interview, you are likely to have gathered valuable first hand career information and be in a better position to decide if an occupation is right for you!
How to organize an Informational Interview
Step one: Identify careers that interest you.
Step two: Identify individuals that you would like to talk to.
Step three: Contact them by phone, email or in person.
Step four: Tell them that you are exploring your career options and were wondering if you could ask them questions about their occupation.
Questions to ask
- Although each day at your job may be different, tell me what a somewhat typical day may involve (specifically the hours of work, tasks, responsibilities etc.).
- Describe what your physical work environment is like?
- What is your training/education background and your career path?
- How would you describe a person who you think would be a great fit for this career?
- What do you like about your job?
- What do you dislike or find most challenging about your job?
- Have you found it easy or difficult to find work in this field?
- What do you think job prospects are like for current job seekers in this field?
- What are starting wages in this line or work? Do you feel that your current wages are appropriate for the job you are doing?
- Can you comment on what your work/life balance is like? Do you feel it is adequate?
- What comments/ suggestions may you have for someone who is considering pursuing this career?
- If you could go back and do anything differently on your career path, what would you do?
- How do you see this career changing in the next 10 years?
- Who else would you recommend I speak to about this career?