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Informational Interviewing Tips
As a user of the Career Network, it is your responsibility to communicate with career network volunteers in a productive, positive way.
"Informational Interviewing," in the lingo of career professionals, is the process by which you get an insider’s perspective on the nature of a profession, gather job-hunting strategies, or learn about an industry or organization.
As with any interview, it is important that you prepare yourself ahead of time to make sure the conversation with a career network volunteer (a Georgetown graduate or friend) runs smoothly. The following are tips to consider before conducting an interview:
Research your interviewee’s occupation, industry, and employer prior to making contact so that you are able to ask them pointed, relevant questions. Use the resources at the MBNA Career Education Center on campus, your local library, and the Internet.
Know how your interests, skills, and values relate to the career fields of those you interview prior to the interview.
Prepare 2 - 3 questions to ask your interviewee ahead of time. Here are some to consider:
What are commonly used titles for positions within the field?
What are the duties performed in a typical day? Week? Month? Year?
What educational program is recommended as preparation?
What kinds of courses are most valuable to gain skills necessary for success in this occupation?
What kind of work internship experiences do employers look for?
Are there any co-curricular activities recommended?
What steps besides education and experience are necessary to “break into” this field?
What are the most important personal characteristics for success in the field?
What are some related occupations?
What types of technology are used?
Where are new job listings found?
What entry-level positions are there in this field?
What has been your career path from college to the present?
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
What are the greatest pressures, strains, or anxieties in the work?
How would you describe the environment/culture of the work place?
Who else would be a valuable source of information?
Follow-up: Write your interviewee a thank you note immediately following your correspondence. You may consider thanking the interviewerr for their time and interest, as well as telling them about your conclusions or decisions resulting from the interview.
Proofread all your correspondence for grammatical and spelling errors. Do not rely on the grammar or spell checks on your word processor.
Remember always to be polite and appreciative of the graduate with whom you are interviewing. You will receive a more open response when you approach them in this manner.