What is an Informational Interview?

As originally published in the Ticker 11/10,  http://ticker.baruchconnect.com/article/career-spotlight-week-9/

By Jiaxin Karen Lu, Peer for Career

An informational interview is a session during which a student will get valuable information regarding job outlook, industry trends, or any other career-related tips from a professional. The purpose of an informational interview differs from a traditional interview – the outcome is not a job offer, but an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the field, add to your network, and position yourself for potential hiring.

If you would like to set up an informational interview, reach out to any prior contacts you have met from networking sessions and your connections on LinkedIn. After you identify the professionals you want to speak with, contact them for a 20-30 minute informational interview at a setting that is convenient for them to meet. If the professional agrees to meet you at a certain time, make sure to show up at least 15-20 minutes earlier to secure a table and have your questions ready. After the session, politely thank the professional for their time and effort, and also send a thank-you note to show your appreciation and follow-up with any additional questions. You may also attach your resume if this was discussed.

In addition, a few resources that can help you obtain more relevant information about informational interviews or find contacts to start the process will be LinkedIn, interviewing workshops, or any other job search workshops at the Starr Career Development Center.

An informational interview is a great way for students to network with alumni or professionals, gain insight, and gather helpful advice on their professional development.