The Best Questions to Ask During an Informational Interview

An informational interview is a valuable tool to gain knowledge about a specific career or job posting. The purpose of an informational interview is not to inquire about a job, but rather to gain insight and advice about a particular career field or position. Summer is a great time for informational interviews, especially in fields like coaching when schedules are lighter. Consider reaching out to your target network or organization this summer that interests you. Utilize LinkedIn to search for connections in specific career fields and ask about an informational interview.

Once you schedule an informational interview, spend time preparing. Research the career field, organization, and the person you are meeting with. Update your resume and bring it with you. Remember that you are in charge of the informational interview so have questions ready. Here are some top questions to ask for a successful informational interview.

Top Questions to Ask During Informational Interviews

Why did you decide to pursue this career field? This is a good question to start the informational interview. The answer will provide a basic understanding of where the person is coming from and why they chose their particular career or position.

What previous professional experiences have helped you most? This question will help shine light if specific skills or educational requirements are needed. The answer can easily segway into discussing work history leading up to their current position.

What is your typical workday like and is there anything unexpected or surprising about your position or career field? While this question can be hard to answer, it will create strong dialogue. This will give you insight into the career on a daily basis and what to expect if you were to pursue a position in that field.

What is something that would have been helpful to know when you started your career? This will help determine if there is anything that you should know ahead of time about the particular career field or advice that they would give to get into their field.

What do you find most fulfilling or rewarding about your career? It’s important that the career field matches up with your values. This question could help you understand the positive outcomes of the position and whether it would be a good fit for you.

What qualities and skills are most important to succeed in this career? This will help you gain insight as to what they look for in a qualified candidate and determine where you stand, as well as your next steps toward entry into the career field.

Informational interviews are a great tool to gain knowledge about a career field and help plan the next steps. Contact your AthLife Advisor with questions and read more at 7 Questions You Can’t Leave an Informational Interview Without Asking.