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Informational interview questions to ask that create a lasting impression

Informational interview questions to ask that create a lasting impression


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Informational Interviews: What They Are And How They Work

Here’s how an informational interview works:

  • You find someone doing the job you’re interested in
  • Invite them out to coffee or ask them to chat over the phone
  • Ask key questions about the job and gather insider information
  • Then, use what you learned to make a...

  • It’s not about a job. You’re not actively trying to land a new position with an informational interview.
  • You’re there to learn. The purpose of this type of interview is to learn about what the other person does, how they do it, and what they like or dislike about their job. 
  • ...

One of the biggest hurdles to getting an informational interview is knowing how to ask for one and who to ask. An informational interview is only useful if you target someone whose role you could see yourself in, whose field you may be interested in, or whose team you may want to be hired onto in...

  • Know the right type of person to ask. This could be people who are already in your network of contacts in a particular field, company, or job that interests you.
  • Don’t have someone in mind? Look through your networking contacts on sites like LinkedIn or any other social media outlet...

  • Leave out any questions that you could learn the answers to by a quick Google search. The internet is a well of information on things like company benefits, salary information, career trajectories, and other hard and fast facts, so leave those out of the equation.
  • Ask the types of...

  • Make sure your questions are open-ended. Try not to ask yes or no questions, even on follow-ups. Doing so will quickly put a damper on the conversation. 
  • Tailor your questions to focus on their experiences in the industry or role. The goal is to get them to tell you about themselves ...

  • Arriving late — or way too early.
  • Asking for a job
  • Dominating the conversation
  • Asking for introductions
  • Skipping the thank you

While it’s important to have the right questions in mind and avoid the big mistakes when conducting an informational interview, you should also try not to overthink it. The goal of this process is for you to learn and grow while networking — not conduct every word, mannerism, and interaction by t...

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