Informational Interviews: Getting the Insider’s View!

An informational interview is at the heart of seeking and finding important career information. This interview, with an experienced professional in your field of interest, provides you with hard-to access, current, and relevant industry information from an “insider’s” point of view. When conducted with skill and proper technique, this association can also give you access to key decision makers and promising industry contacts. On a personal note, one of my early informational interviews resulted in meeting one of my mentors and choosing a particular career path where I had much success.

In preparation for your interviews, be sure to review  Module 7 of our LifeLaunch! career course. Donald Asher has some very important interviewing tips that will help you achieve the outcome you desire.

Remember, these interviews are NOT job interviews, even though they are taking place in a professional context. You are gathering invaluable “insider” information and your industry contact is forming an impression of you based on your preparation, your listening skills and how you conduct yourself. You should not ask for a job. Your job is to ask for a referral to another industry contact at the conclusion of your interview!

Some of the benefits of your informational interview are:

  • Finding out if the industry is suitable for you—are you headed in the right direction?
  • Gaining confidence from industry-specific suggestions regarding how to acquire experience and knowledge in that field
  • Practicing and refining interviewing skills and techniques
  • Gaining access to decision-makers or insiders for internal job postings
  • Finding out what it is really like in a particular industry or job title
  • Expanding your network of industry contacts
  • Request for referrals

Your informational interview should cover these subject areas:

  • Overall Job and Company Information
  • Specific or ideal skills and qualifications
  • Career paths or career ladder
  • Industry trends
  • Rewards/challenges
  • Typical compensation
  • Asking for the referral

Print out the list of the informational interview questions and bring them to your interview so that you are prepared for success.

LifeLaunch! Can Help

Review Mod­ule 7 of our Life­Launch! career course to learn all of the inter­view­ing tips that will make your informational interview a success.

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