Questions to Ask
Here are some questions you might want to consider asking during your informational interview. Feel free to adapt these and come up with some of your own as well! Have a list of about a dozen questions to ask at-hand. Don’t be surprised if your 15-20 minute meeting turns into 45 minutes to one hour!
Sample Industry / Profession Questions:
- What excites you about the industry / profession?
- Who is making it happen?
- What is driving the positive trends in the industry / profession?
- What factors are responsible for the industry / profession’s growth?
- What new strategies are being used to continue the growth?
- What specific trends are affecting the industry / profession?
- What are the greatest challenges facing the industry / profession?
- What are the greatest opportunities facing the industry / profession?
- What associations do you belong to or recommend I check out?
- What industry publications do you suggest I read?
Sample Career Questions:
- What do you do?
- What did you do before?
- How did you get your job?
- What are your career aspirations?
- What kinds of people do well in this occupation?
- What do you really like about your job?
- What do you dislike?
- What is the biggest misconception about this job?
- Looking back on your career or job search, what do you wish you had done differently?
- How does someone go about getting a job like yours someday?
- What steps would you take today if you were in my shoes?
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF ALL…
- Who else would you suggest I talk to?
Click here for more questions you can ask.
Never take a résumé with you to a networking meeting…ever!
Why? You have been granted a meeting on the basis of searching for information and contacts. As soon as a résumé is introduced into the meeting the whole dynamic changes from informational to job search and your credibility is lost. If someone wants to see your résumé, gladly email it to them with the caveat that it is still a work in progress and you would love their feedback!
Get some business cards made for networking. These are perfect to take to an informational interview. Business cards will enhance your professional image and communicate who you are and what you are seeking. A great source for “free” business cards is Vista Print. Go to www.vistaprint.com to order 250 “free” cards. They offer over 40 styles to choose from. The cards are free but they will charge you for shipping and handling (somewhere around $6.00 – still a great deal!). The cards are free because the company prints a promotional message on the back of each card to encourage people to use Vista Print.
What Goes on Your Business Cards?
- Short Positioning Statement (optional) - same as the Objective statement on your résumé
Online Networking Resources
24/7 Career Center