Conducting an informational interview can be an effective tool for networking regarding job/internship/co-op leads as well as for gathering career information. Most people love talking about their careers and sharing insights regarding academic preparation as well as gaining experience in your chosen field of study. Keep the following guidelines in mind as you think about conducting an informational interview:
1. WHO? Who do you talk to? Alumni or professionals in your field
2. WHAT? What do you discuss? Their jobs, job seeking strategies, resume critique, likes/dislikes of their chosen profession, a typical day in that field, academic preparation, etc.
3. WHEN? Breaks, mutually convenient dates/times
4. WHERE? Meet at their place of business
5. WHY? They like to share information regarding their careers--this makes a connection for you. In addition, you will
- Learn realities about the "real world of work;"
- Learn about different aspects of your chosen field;
- Learn whether your career choice is a good fit for your--or not;
- Learn strategies for entering your chosen field;
- Obtain an edge over other job seekers;
- Prepare for the job interview through research and practice.
6. HOW? Prepare by doing your research on the individual's organization. Ask good questions. They will be impressed that you were prepared with thoughtful questions about their company, their industry, and their chosen career path.
Contact Melinda LaPrade ( firstname.lastname@example.org), faculty, or the ETSU Alumni Association for contact leads to interview. Happy informational interviewing!