Informational Interview Questions

An informational interview can be a great tool to collect valuable job interview information. But it is only as useful as the informational interview questions you ask. To make the most of it let’s think about what you need to know

There are a few broad categories

• Entry into the role

• Day to day life in the role

• Preparation for the interview

Entry into the role

Your subject may be able to provide you with information about what it takes to get to your desired position. One of the core questions of the interview is whether you are capable of doing the job. This is largely assumed based upon your track record/previous experience.

What will you be expected to know and what know-how will you need? The answers to these questions will help you to form a clear picture of the type of knowledge and skills you will need to have and demonstrate, both in an interview, and in the job itself. The first step to interview success is knowing what the interviewer wants and this kind of information can serve as a basis for your interview preparation. What level of education is required to reach, and perform your role?

What has your career path been from entry level to now?

What kind of experience would employers be looking for someone at my level?

What steps are required to get into this career/?

Day to day life in the role

Remember that besides the employer assessing your suitability the purpose of the interview is also for you to decide whether or not you actually want the job! Use the informational interview to learn as much as you can about what the role you think you want is really like. A few valuable insights now can save you months, or even years, on a career path that isn’t right for you.

Here are some questions to start you off

How many hours do you work per day/week?

What does a typical day consist of for you?

What do you enjoy about the work?

What are the “worst” things about the job?

What are your main responsibilities?

What is the salary range for such a role?

Preparation for the interview

Wouldn’t it be great to get interview help from someone who has been there and done it? Someone who has walked the path you want to walk? Your subject can offer priceless interview advice because they’ve seen it before and they know what you face……..and they’ve succeeded.

Learning from them gives you the chance to see what you need to do to achieve success yourself, and they may have some interview tips for you too.

What are the core skills/ employers will be looking for?

What experiences will an interviewer be looking for?

What direction do you see the industry moving in the next 5 years?

What does it take to succeed in an interview for the role?

What type of personality does it take to succeed in this career?

The questions here are by no means comprehensive. Use them as a guide to help you identify what it is you want to find out, before designing your own set of questions, based on the time you have allowed and the interview subject you have chosen.

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