When networking or conducting informational interviews, use open-ended questions to create an engaging conversation.
Be strategic and do not ask questions that are too personal. To prepare for these discussions, create a key list of questions that will allow you to navigate the conversation. Here are 15 questions to get you started.
What to ask in your informational interview
Tasks and Responsibilities
- Please tell me about your work.
- Describe a typical work day.
- What aspect of your job do you ﬁnd most challenging/rewarding?
- Do you more often work individually or as part of a team?
- Can you describe the typical work/life balance in this ﬁeld?
Preparation for Career Path
- What do you think is the best academic preparation for this profession?
- How did you become interested in this ﬁeld?
- What are the qualiﬁcations you look for in a new hire?
- What else should I know to make an informed decision about choosing a career in this ﬁeld?
- Is there anything you wished you knew before entering this ﬁeld?
- Do you have any recommendations for other people I should speak with in the ﬁeld to learn more? May I use your name when reaching out to him or her?
- What industry publications would you recommend I read to help keep me informed of developments in this ﬁeld?
- Is the advice you have passed on to me regarding this sector typical of the industry, or is it speciﬁc to your organization?
- Are there any professional associations that you are part of or suggest I join?
- Where do you see this industry going in the next 5-10 years?