Informational Interviewing

Be curiousInformational interviews are one of the best ways to explore career paths and expand your network. Unlike a job interview, the goal of an informational interview is primarily to gather information about a career path or organization, not get a job. Additionally, you are the one asking questions.

Four steps to the perfect informational interview

1. Identify your interview subject:

  •  Start with people with whom you're most comfortable (e.g., friends and family), even if they don’t work in an area that seems appealing to you initially; you may be surprised by what you learn.
  • They may also be able to connect you with someone who is familiar with your desired career field.

2. Ask for 20 minutes:

  • Most people have 20 minutes of spare time in their day for a conversation.
  • Ask “I’m looking for some advice and information – could you spare 20 minutes for me next week to talk about your career path?”

3. Prepare questions:

  • Take the time to think about what you’d really like to know about the individual’s career path.
  • You might ask about the person’s work background, education and training requirements, what a typical day is like, and whether they have any advice about entering this field.
  • Be sure to ask if they can recommend anyone else you might speak with regarding your career interests to keep your momentum going.

4. Stay in contact:

  • Send a handwritten thank you note to each person with whom you speak
  • Follow up on occasion and updated them on your career search.

Jayhawk Ready: Informational Interviewing

Access more information about informational interviewing!

Informational Interviewing (3:17)

Find KU Alumni

KU Mentoring program - KU Alumni

Check Appointment Availability

We'd love to assist you with your career development process!

The University Career Center is open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm: 785-864-3624.

appointment availability

University Career Center
6th in the nation for its social media presence in 2013 —
Winner of the 2013 Innovation Excellence Award in Research —National Association of Colleges and Employers
2009 National Chevron Award winner for excellence in career services —National Association of Colleges and Employers
2010 National Chevron Award finalist for excellence in career services —National Association of Colleges and Employers
Professional Clothing Closet won Service Program of the Year —2011-12 Jayhawk Choice Awards
More than 500 students enroll in career classes annually
Each year more than 7,500 jobs and 1,400 internships are posted in KU Career Connections
University Career Center hosts eight career fairs each year
More than 360 organizations attended University Career Center career fairs the past academic year
More than 10,000 students attended University Career Center workshops in 2012-13