Ten Questions to Ask in an Informational Interview!

Ten Questions to Ask in an Informational Interview

Informational interviews are one of the best ways to learn more about a particular job and/or industry. However, in order to conduct an effective informational interview, you have to ask the right questions! Here are ten questions to ask in an informational interview that will help you get the “inside scoop” on your future dream job!

Starter Questions 

  1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are today?
    • Note: This question might take up a lot of time depending on the person! If you feel like your interviewee took a while on this question, jump straight to the must-ask questions!
  2. What do you love most about working in this field?
    • Note: Simple, to the point, and something anyone can answer even if they’re new to the field.
  3. What does a typical workday or workweek look like for you?
    • Note: This isn’t a must-ask question but it’s great if you want the “inside scoop” on that particular position. Note if they sound like they could use an intern, assistant, or an extra hand! You may want to offer your assistance during your wrap up questions or follow up email.

Pro-Tip: Informational Interviews are all about listening! Be sure to listen to their story and note any similar connections you two may have or potential follow up questions you may want to ask later on!

How to Request an Informational Interview


Must-Ask Questions 

  1. How did you know XYZ company was the right company for you? Any pros or cons?
    • Note: Asking for pros or cons as the secondary question allows the interviewee to share as little or as much information as they want. You never want someone to feel obligated to speak negatively about their company.
  2. Where do you see yourself in the next few years within this company or career field?
    • Note: Similar to you – most people do not have a “5-Year or 10-Year Plan” ready to share at any moment, so take the pressure off the interviewee and ask them about the next “few” years.
  3. What should an incoming professional know about this company or career field?
    • Note: This question is SO important! If they recommend having a certain degree, joining a particular networking group,  or having a particular quality or skill, be sure to write that down. The answer to this question will give you your homework assignment after the interview!

Informational Interview Tips

Wrap Up Questions 

  1. Ask an advice question!
    • Note: People like to feel helpful! An advice question gives you a chance to share something about yourself and gives them an opportunity to act as a “mentor”. Remember to keep this question relevant to their everyday work so that they can easily answer your question!
      • Example: I’m currently interning at a local news station as their Social Media Assistant; however, I’m not sure if social media is a good career field to go into. Can you share your thoughts on the future of marketing in regards to social media positions?
  2. Ask a follow-up question!
    • Note: Ask them a question that proves you were actively listening throughout the interview (i.e ask a question based on their answers from the interview).
  3. Is there anything you wanted to ask me?
    • Note: Were breaking informational interview rules here and giving them a chance to ask you a question! Why is this important? Because this question turns a one-sided interview into a mutual conversation. This will make your conversation memorable! However, whatever your answer is, keep your answer short and sweet!
  4. What’s the best way for us to stay in touch after today’s conversation?
    • Note: They will most likely say via email or phone! Thank them for their time and let them know you will keep in touch with them via their preferred communication style.

Pro-Tip: Know your informational interview objective! Are you looking for a job, work experience, a potential mentor, etc.? Knowing your objective will help you decide your wrap up questions!

Bonus Pro-Tip: Informational interviews are usually no longer than 25 minutes if it’s an appointment or 45 minutes if it’s over lunch! People usually get restless after six questions, so pick your top four questions and be prepared to let the rest of them go if you get close to time!

Informational Interview


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