An informational interview is one of the most effective ways to meet people in a professional field of your interest. It affords you the opportunity to gather information whether your are undecided about your major or career or in the first stages of your job search.
First step: Identify an occupation/industry you wish to learn more about.
Read all you can: This should be done before your informational interview. Check print materials in our office, industry guides, articles, and company websites.
List of questions: Could include information on background, work environment, life style, salary, rewards, promotional potential, industry, advice, hiring questions, and job market.
- What was your college major and how did you prepare for this position?
- What do like the most and least about your position?
- What are some current issues related to the industry?
- What trade journals, magazines, or professional associations would be helpful to my professional development?
List of people: Start with the people you know – family, friends, co-workers, classmates, faculty/staff, etc. USE YOUR NETWORK.
- Send a letter or email requesting a brief informational interview. Make sure to clearly indicate the purpose and express that there is no expectation for a job.
- Follow this up with a telephone call to confirm, schedule, and determine where you both will meet.
- Tip: the best way to obtain an informational interview is to be referred from one professional to another. USE YOUR NETWORK.
Conducting your interview: Dress to impress, arrive early, and be polite to everyone. Shine and make a great impression.
Thank you: Send a thank you note to whomever you had your interview with within 1 – 2 days of the interview.
For any questions or additional help visit us at career.sdsu.edu or call (619) 594 – 6851.