Everything You Need to Know About Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are an important job search tool. They can help you build your network, and more importantly, they can help you land an interview for an open position. Unfortunately, many of my career mentoring clients tell me that they don’t know how to approach an informational interview.

Here’s what I think…

An informational interview is a conversation that you have when networking with executives and professionals in a field or industry in which you are interested. They are helpful in expanding your professional network and learning about a field or industry.

To get started you need to invite an executive or professional to meet – in his or her office, by phone, for lunch or coffee. Tell him or her that you are interested in learning more about his or her field, company or industry and that you would really value learning about his or her experiences in his or her career journey.

Most people are pretty happy to accept these kinds of requests.

Once you have secured an informational interview here is a list of questions you can ask to get the conversation rolling.

  • How did you get started in your field (or industry)?
  • What was the best job you’ve ever had – what made it so great?
  • What has your career path been like?
  • When you look ahead, where do you see your field (or industry) in 10 years?
  • What are the most important competencies someone needs to succeed in your field?
  • What is the best advice you have for someone entering your field (or industry)?
  • What’s the job market like for someone who wants to get into your field (or industry)?
  • How have things changed in your field (or industry) over the past 10 years?
  • Are there any folks that you think I should speak with to get a really good understanding of your field (or industry)? Would you be kind enough to refer me to them?

These are good conversation starters – and follow up questions. Use them to create successful informational interviews.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  Now I’m going one step further.  I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success.  And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free.  Just go to  www.BudBilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals.  I hope to see you there.

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