Careers Service

Informational interviews

Informational interviews are conversations with someone about their work or organisation, by which you build a better awareness of a role or industry.

These can provide valuable information that cannot be found elsewhere.

You may wish to ask questions about the day-to-day aspects of their job, or the personal characteristics and skills that are required to be successful. Or functional questions about the job and its positive and negative aspects.

It is also an opportunity to find out how an organisation operates - its structure, products, markets, competitors, etc to gain a better commercial understanding. You can conduct informational interviews on the phone or online, or it may even be possible to visit the interviewee’s workplace and observe the working environment.

How do I organise an informational interview?

Once you have decided who to approach, you can do it in a way that suits you. Some people prefer writing an email to introduce themselves, others would rather make a phone call. The person you wish to get in touch with may have a preferred method of contact so it is best to stick with what they wish.

Here are some tips for setting up your interview and some suggested questions you could ask.

 

Watch some examples

Watch some examples of students using informational interviews and networking to find out more about getting in to their chosen careers.

Journey to work    (Video copyright AGCAS Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services)