Networking is about sharing information about careers. Informational Interviews are interviews that you set up for the purpose of eliciting information about a person’s career area and career path. The point of doing an informational interview is not to try to get a job, but rather to gain more information about specific careers, organizations, or jobs. This may help you make a better decision about whether or not you should pursue a particular direction in your career path.
Successful career planners learn this technique--as a college student, you should aim to conduct at least one informational interview for every year you are in school. The following are a few guidelines that will help you master the technique of informational interviewing, a key component of networking for college students.
- Friends of family
- Family of friends
- Family of neighbors
- Family’s connections (Lion’s club, Mom’s office, etc.)
- University community (faculty, staff, offices)
- Municipal community (your hometown connections)
- Yellow pages
- Tell me about your career path. How did you get started doing this? What was interesting?
- What education and training did you need to do this? Has anything changed?
- What are critical skills that you need to have for this field?
- What is an average day like? What are your major responsibilities?
- What are some upcoming trends/challenges to the field that I should know about?
- What advice would you give someone thinking about entering this field?
- What are some related professions to this one? Can you think of anyone else I might talk to?