wikiHow to Conduct an Informational Interview

An informational interview can be a great tool to help you learn about a job field you're considering, a position you're interested in or a company where you might apply. Informational interviews are conducted a bit differently than job interviews, so learn how to conduct an informational interview to use the process to your advantage.


  1. Image titled Conduct an Informational Interview Step 1
    Know who you're interviewing.
    • Verify the name of the company and the pronunciation of the representative you're interviewing before you hold an informational interview. Knowing who you're meeting and how to address the individual will make you look poised and you'll be more comfortable when asking questions.
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    Dress for success.
    • It's important to dress professionally, or at least business casual, when you go to an informational interview, because the person you're interviewing could end up being a supervisor, colleague or business contact. Be sure clothing is neat, clean, matching, ironed, tucked in and meets the guidelines of professional dress.
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    Write an outline.
    • Stay focused by preparing a list of questions to ask during an informational interview. Put the aspects of the job that are most important to you, like opportunities for ongoing education or salary ranges, at the top of the list or mark them with an asterisk so you can prioritize them during the interview. This outline will keep you from straying away from important topics and ensure you get the information that matters to you.
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    Research the company.
    • Gather some facts about the company where you're conducting the informational interview so you know its background, performance history and industry accomplishments. This will help you ask questions about how a candidate with your skills could benefit in such a company and determine if it's a company you'd want to work for.
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    Expand your questions.
    • Informational interviews allow you to ask more questions about the details of the job like daily routines or tasks, advancement opportunities, benefits and leave time allotments and scheduling requirements. Take advantage of the interview to inquire about all of these factors that you might not discuss in a standard employment interview.
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    Take notes.
    • It's considered more acceptable to jot down notes in an informational interview than in an employment interview, since you're gathering information about the company and the job itself. Take note of answers and important information you want to remember about the job and company.
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    Follow up.
    • Send a thank-you email or make a phone call after your informational interview to show the representative you interviewed that you appreciate the time and information that was shared. This sets a solid foundation for conducting a future employment interview or establishing a future business contact.

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Categories: Interview Skills