One of the best ways to gather more information about an industry or a career is through interactions with someone who has a job in that field. This is not an opportunity to ask for an internship or job. The purpose of conducting an informational interview is to ask specific and insightful questions that will help you learn more about your field of interest.
How to Set Up an Informational Interview
After identifying contacts from your friends, family and other connections, request an informational interview and let your contact know your interest and curiosity to learn more about their industry or job. Informational interviews can be done over a brief telephone call or in a face-to-face meeting.
How to Prepare for an Informational Interview
- Research the company and prepare specific questions related to their work
- Articulate why you are interested in this career path and your skills, interests, and qualifications as they relate to the field
- Prepare a 1 – 2 minute pitch that describes your background and goals
- Know what information and take-aways you hope to get from the conversation
- Convey a polite and professional demeanor
- Send a thank you note after the meeting
- Keep in touch; following up with a short communication such as an e-mail or a phone call is critical to developing and maintaining your professional network