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Questions To Ask During An Informational Interview

Select questions that are appropriate for your target career field and stage of decision-making. You can ask about such topics as the nature of a person’s work, how to get started in the field, or effective approaches for the job search. Use some of the following questions or make up your own.

  • What are your main responsibilities as a...?

  • What is a typical day (or week) like for you?

  • What do you like most about your work?

  • What do you like least about your work?

  • What kinds of problems do you deal with?

  • What kinds of decisions do you make?

  • How does your position fit within the organization/career field/industry?

  • How does your job affect your general lifestyle?

  • What current issues and trends in the field should I know about/be aware of?

  • What are some common career paths in this field?

  • What kinds of accomplishments tend to be valued and rewarded in this field?

  • What related fields do you think I should consider looking into?

  • How did you become interested in this field?

  • How did you begin your career?

  • How do most people get into this field? What are common entry-level jobs?

  • What steps would you recommend I take to prepare to enter this field?

  • How relevant to your work is your undergraduate major?

  • What kind of education, training, or background does your job require?

  • What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?

  • What is the profile of the person most recently hired at my level?

  • What are the most effective strategies for seeking a position in this field?

  • Can you recommend trade journals, magazines or professional associations which would be helpful for my professional development?

  • If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?

  • I’ve read that the entry-level salary range for this field is usually in the range of ______? Does this fit with what you’ve seen? (Don’t ask about the person’s actual salary.)

  • What advice would you give someone who is considering this type of job (or field)?

  • Can you suggest anyone else I could contact for additional information?

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