Informational interviews help you research job opportunities.
An informational interview is a meeting between you and another professional. It is a way to find out more about industries, careers, or companies you're interested in. You can also see how well your skills and interests fit with a career path or employer.
You set up the informational interview. And you are expected to ask the questions. The purpose is to get information, not to get a job. These interviews are a good opportunity to get leads and develop network contacts.
Find people. Decide the industry, career, or company you want to explore. Then ask everyone you know for potential contacts related to your goal. It is OK to schedule the interview with someone without hiring power. They often know more about day-to-day activities and have more specific information for you.
Make contact. Pick up the phone or e-mail and make contact. Below is a possible script:
"Ms. Smith, Brad Johnson suggested I speak with you. My name is Mandy Olson and I am interested in the ________ field. I could use advice from someone who is in this field. Do you have any time this week when I could meet with you? I know you're busy, so I only need about 20 minutes of your time. I would really like to learn more about your company and the ________ field from someone like you."
You may want to explain a little about your own background and why their career appeals to you. Be sure they know that you are not asking them for a job.
To make best use of your interview time, know in advance what questions you are going to ask. You might want to ask:
Source: Adapted from Creative Job Search, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.