Informational Interviewing is a powerful networking tool where you will learn about various career paths and build relationships for the future. Although an informational interview may lead to a job offer, that is not the primary goal. The focus is to learn about the person's organization, their role and the path they took to get there.
Steps for a Successful Informational Interview
Identify the Interviewee: Consider family, friends, professors, advisors, the Yale Career Network and LinkedIn.
Contact: Request an in person or phone appointment. Indicate the reason you are connecting and how much time you are seeking (20-30 minutes).
Scheduling: Be prepared to adjust your schedule. Suggest lunch, coffee break, etc. (When is it convenient for your contact to meet with you?)
Confirm: Be sure you have agreed on the date and place of your meeting, and send a brief note of confirmation.
Research: Research the career field before the meeting. Informational Interviews should not be a starting point for your research.
Preparation: Prepare relevant questions (see below). Bring a copy of your resume in case you are asked for it.
Appearance & Arrival: Prepare to wear business casual or business attire depending on the interviewee’s workplace. Arrive 10-15 minutes early
Keep Records: Created a spreadsheet to record names, meeting dates, contact information, and notes.
Thank You: Ask for a business card before you leave and send a note of thanks after the meeting.