INFORMATION INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Here is a list of the kind of questions to ask at an Information Interview when you are considering a career change and need information about a particular position or field of interest. Personal Background – • Tell me how you got started in this field? • How long have you held this kind of job? • How long have you worked for this organization? Nature of Work – • How would you describe your job? • What are the most frequently recurring problems or challenges? • How is the work changing? • What are your major responsibilities? What are the rewards of your position? • What do you enjoy most about your work? Working Conditions – • Does this job require primarily independent activity or is there a lot of teamwork? • What is the overall working climate/environment like? • What hours do individuals in this job usually work • Is there much flexibility? • Who evaluates your performance? How is this done? • How supported do you feel in pursuing your development goals? Preparation Required – • Can formal educational credentials be substituted for experience? • What kind of on-the-job-training is provided? What kind of academic background and experience is required for this position? • Are there specific courses or training programs that are particularly valuable? Salary & Benefits- • What potential earnings can someone in this field of work anticipate? • What is a typical entry-level salary in this field? • Are there other benefits that increase total compensation? Entry into the field –
• How does one get his/her first job? How are these jobs advertised and filled? • What is the current level of opportunity for these types of positions? • Do you anticipate any change for better or worse during the next few years? Would some previous experience as an intern, a volunteer make a job candidate more marketable? • What kinds of skills and experience should be highlighted in resumes and interviews? • What kinds of organizations or departments have a need for positions like yours? Opportunity for Advancement – • Are there lateral moves that can be made within your organization/department and into other areas? • What position in your organization could you realistically aspire? • What is a typical career path for individuals in your position? To make sure your objective is realistic and achievable – I have been thinking about ___________. From what you know of my background does that seem like a logical next step? • With my background and experience, what (other) functional areas, types of positions, departments, or industries do you think I could focus on? • Since I am considering ________________ can you see any gaps in my experience and qualifications for this kind of position? • What can I do to make improvements or fill in the gaps? On what should I place emphasis on when communicating with other contacts and potential hiring managers? What experience and skills of mine would you consider to be an asset in your field, department, area, company, or industry? • Can you suggest anyone else whom it would be helpful to talk to? May I use your name when contacting her/him? • What would be the best move for me now in order to __________ later on? • Do you mind if I stay in touch with you as I continue exploring my options? To uncover departmental, company or industry, opportunities and needs – • What are some important medium and long-term trends (changes) affecting your function/department/company? • How do you see these trends affecting (functional Area of business)? Are hiring managers/companies keeping this trend in mind in their hiring policies?
• What types of challenges/problems currently face your department, field, industry, or company? • Are the services/products your function/department/company provide finding a decrease or increase in demand? • With these problems/trends in mind, what qualifications, experience and areas of expertise are managers looking for in their new hires? • Do you see a person with my qualifications, and experience being able to make a contribution with respect to the problems/trends that you’ve identified? What can I do to become better prepared to meet these challenges, presently and in the future? • What are some additional sources of good information about these trends/challenges/problems? • Can you make recommendations on what to read or other people I should talk to? To obtain advice on Your Job Search – • Would you mind looking at my target list of people, departments/companies? • Do you have any suggestions on my job search strategy? • Do you mind if I stay in touch with you regarding my job search? • In your opinion, how realistic are my goals? • How do you suggest I go about locating a position in _________? If you were in my place right now, what might you do in order to uncover possible positions? • If you were trying to attract the most qualified candidates for a position how would you go about it? • Should I be contacting a recruiter/headhunter? Do you have any recommendations? • What was your reaction to my resume? • How does it compare to others you have seen? • Does it say enough or too much? • Can anything be improved-the style, format, and/or content? • Is there anyone else that you know of that I should be talking with about job opportunities in ___________?