We are huge advocates of informational interviewing in Career Services so we thought we would re-post a popular article written a couple of years ago. Maybe it will get you interested in doing an informational interview in the future:
Have you ever found yourself wondering, I know there are jobs out there that may be perfect that I’ve never heard of. How do I find them? Most people ask this at one time or another. There are many ways to research occupations, but one of the most effective is: Informational Interviewing.
What is “informational interviewing”, you ask? An informational interview is an interview that you initiate with someone in a field that interests you. You ask the questions, because the purpose is to obtain information. This is one of the best sources for gathering information about what’s happening in an occupation or an industry, because you’re talking to people actually working in the field. You get to interact with someone and have a dialogue—something you can’t do with a computer screen. Informational Interviews allow you to:
- explore careers and clarify your career goal
- discover employment opportunities that are not advertised
- expand your professional network
- build confidence for your job interviews
- access the most up-to-date career information
- identify your professional strengths and weaknesses
Informational interviews can teach you about those mysterious job descriptions you’ve never heard of, and give you insider information about your field of interest. And best of all, they can teach you what kinds of experiences you’ll need to give yourself a leg-up in the job market during these tough economic times!
To conduct an informational interview, follow these steps: 1) Identify the occupation or industry you wish to learn about, 2) Identify People to Interview 3) Prepare for the interview, 4) Arrange the Interview, 5) Follow Up.
More questions? Come to the Career Center and meet with one of our career counselors.
Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor