Top 20 Informational Interview Questions to Ask

These good informational interview questions provide you with clear insight into the job or career you are investigating. This type of interview also provides a possible networking opportunity that can be used to help your job search.

The questions are designed to find out what you need to know to make a well-informed career decision.

What is the purpose of an informational interview?

The questions you ask should provide answers about the following:

  • the education, experience, skills and abilities needed for the career you are looking at
  • a typical day on the job
  • the rewards and challenges of this type of employment

An informational interview will give you an excellent understanding of the job on which to base any career decisions you make. It also helps you to establish good contacts for your job search.

20 Informational Interview Questions to Ask

Choose about 10 to 15 questions from this list of informational interview questions to find out about the career field you are researching.

  1. How did you get started in this line of work?
  2. How did you get into this particular job?
  3. Why did you apply for this particular position?
  4. What qualifications and experience did you need?
  5. What skills and abilities are necessary for performing this work?
  6. What are the main responsibilities in this job?
  7. What are the things you like and dislike most about the job?
  8. What have you found to be the biggest challenges in your work?
  9. What have you found to be the most significant rewards in this work?
  10. What are the necessary requirements for an entry-level position in this industry?
  11. What are the career path options in this industry/organization?
  12. What opportunities have you had in this job?
  13. Where do you think this industry/career is going in the next couple of years?
  14. Which companies do you consider the to be the leaders in this  field?
  15. What do you think are the available career options for someone with my qualifications in this industry?
  16. What advice would you give to someone looking for a similar job in this industry?
  17. Is there anything else I should know about this work?
  18. Who else would you recommend I go and talk to?
  19. May I contact you again if I need further advice?
  20. Would you mind taking a quick look at my resume and giving me some feedback?

End by thanking the person and stating that you will let them know how things turn out.

What to do after the informational interview

Follow up with a professional email or thank you letter.

Ask for a business card so that you can address your thank you letter or e-mail properly. After the informational interview send a thank-you note within twenty-four hours to everyone who helped you and talked with you.

Follow up periodically with the people you have conducted an information interview with to keep up the contact. These contacts can provide a useful support network throughout your career.

Sample informational interview thank you email

Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for talking with me yesterday and taking the time to answer all my questions. I found it very helpful and I now have a much clearer understanding of this field of work. I know you have a busy schedule and I appreciate the time you spent with me.

Regards
John Candidate

How do you ask for an informational interview?

Customize this sample informational interview letter to ask for the meeting.

How to prepare for an informational interview

Get a clear picture of the job responsibilities and requirements. Use the free job descriptions to help you

Understand the job skills required for different positions.

Select the most appropriate informational interview questions to ask and make an easy-to-use list for your meeting. 

Go to the informational interview guide to find out more about setting up and conducting the information interview.

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Planning a list of good informational interview questions ensures that you get the answers you need to make the right career decision.

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