An Informational Interview is an informal conversation that you as a job seeker can have with someone working in an area of your interest.

Now, what is NOT an Informational Interview? It is neither a chance to show off your talents nor to ask for a job.

I remember my first Informational Interview.

I did it so wrong!

Although I didn’t ask my interviewed for a job, (Thank God!) I did make sure to showcase my skills and why I would be a fit in their offices.

And that’s wrong.

What is the purpose of the Informational Interview?

1- Gain Insight: if you go prepared with relevant questions, you’ll know about every day, practices, and corporate culture.

It can help you not only during a future job interview but also to evaluate if that is a place where you could be a good fit.

2- Practice your Interview Skills: even this is not the moment to sell yourself, you’ll have the opportunity to talk with someone with a similar background than yours.

That will help you feel comfortable asking about job responsibilities and career goals.

3- Network Yourself: you are going to be around 30 minutes with a person that already has the job you would like to have.

Ergo, you have things in common with him or her, and even you are not there to ask for a job, the conversation can allow you to express yourself and make a good impression.

How do I ask for an Informational Interview?

The most commons way to ask is through Social Network, Organizations for Immigrants, and friends.

How long should it be my interview?

Thirty minutes is enough unless the interviewed invite you to keep the conversation for some more time.

Last Tips?

  • Bring your business cards to your meeting.
  • Have your resume in your folder, just in case they ask you for it.
  • Ask your interviewed for his o her business card.
  • Write a thank you note after the interview.

Now that you know the Do’s and Don’t of an informational interview, go to Resources to find 20 Questions to Ask in An Informational Interview.