Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are a form of networking. They are especially useful when you don’t have much knowledge about a career field, have limited work experience, or are considering a career transition.

Asking Questions

Ask about topics that you genuinely want more information about. Develop a list of 10 to 15 relevant questions.

Sample questions

• What is your background? What was your career path?
• How did you know this field was the right fit for you?
• What are the major responsibilities of your position?
• If there is such a thing as an average week, what is it like for you?
• What are the positive and negative aspects of working in this field?
• What has surprised you most since entering this industry/type of work?
• What do you see as the hot issues and trends in this field?
• How can I become a more competitive candidate in this industry?
• What advice do you have for me moving forward?
• Can you recommend anyone else for me to contact?
• May I keep in touch with you and let you know my progress?

Responding to Questions

The more your contacts get to know you, the more helpful they can be. With this in mind, be prepared to talk about yourself.

Questions you may be asked

• How did you choose Northwestern?
• What are you studying? Why did you choose that academic area?
• When did you first learn of this industry?
• Why are you interested in pursuing a career in this industry?
• What activities are you involved in on campus?
• How are you preparing for a career in this industry?