Think of an informational interview as a way of networking. In business, networking is a way to have sales opportunities or make contacts. The same applies for those who seek work; one looks for ways to increase professional contacts and gain knowledge about a specific field. Just keep in mind that the end game is gathering information only.

How Is An Informational Interview Beneficial?

Have you ever heard of the idiom of getting information straight from the horse’s mouth? That is what you would receive: knowledge about a specific field, industry, or position that the person either holds or has held. This person knows and understands where you are right now, and where you would like to go; this person has been there as well.

You can get just the right tips. For instance, you can learn the necessary preparations for your intended career. Perhaps there is a career path within your field you may not have realized existed. You could get to know the working environment of a particular organization. Maybe you could learn how your courses, skill development, and academic planning fit in with your future success. Find out what strengths and vulnerabilities await you in your chosen field – will it shrink or expand.

By starting out with your informational interview before beginning any job interviews, you can build relationships that could put you steps ahead of someone else looking for the same work in the future.

How To Get Ready For An Informational Interview

The best way to start networking is, begin with who you know. You might know some people in your intended field. Whether or not you do know who you can interview, getting more names is a good idea. Start asking family, friends, and co-workers – you might be surprised as to who they know within their circles. Whoever they know could be directly involved with just the right people.

You could learn more about your field of interest through joining professional associations connected with that area. Discover and chat with or interview past alumni from schools related to this area. If the alumni cannot directly help you, they may know to whom you can direct your questions.

Depending on the field you wish to learn more about, your questions will certainly vary. These 10 Questions will generate a more valuable interviewing experience for you.