Questions to Use in Informational Interviews

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By Mitchell Friedman, Associate Dean of Career Development and Student Affairs

Published 8.6.13

I’ve conducted scores of informational interviews in my life, and enthusiastically (and repeatedly) encourage Presidio Graduate School students to do so as a means of learning more about specific jobs, occupations, and/or industries (whether that’s clean technology and renewable energy; impact investing and sustainable finance; sustainable agriculture and food systems; or smart cities and sustainable urban development). You start by reaching out to people you know, better still, people who know people they know.  I offer my professional network as one resource, which you can access by connecting to me on LinkedIn if you have not already done so.  See this article for more information on how to use LinkedIn to set up informational information.

Once you confirm meetings with different individuals, you can use these six questions—modified as needed for each meeting—to guide your inquiry.

1. What do you do?

2. What led you to choose this line of work?

3. What are the greatest challenges you face?

4. How did past experiences and education lead you to where you are now professionally?

5. Where do you see yourself professionally in five years (or, “How do you see your career evolving?”)

6. What advice would you offer to anyone considering pursuing this occupation and/or entering this industry?

 

To plan your strategy for conducting informational interviews that support your career goals, contact Dawn Mokuau to set up a time to speak.

Mitchell Friedman, Associate Dean of Career Development and Student Affairs

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