One of the most effective ways to explore and learn about different careers and to make contacts is to talk to people who are already working in the fields you are curious about.
An informational interview is an interview that you initiate with an experienced professional: you do the research and you ask the questions. It is important to keep in mind that the purpose is to obtain information, not to get a job.
Questions to Ask at an Informational Interview
- What is a typical day like in your job?
- What did you study in college?
- How did you get started in this field?
- Is this career what you expected?
- What are the greatest challenges/rewards you experience?
- Which skills are necessary to be successful in this field?
- Are there any new trends developing that you see?
- What do employers look for when hiring new candidates?
- What is the typical career path like in this field?
- What advice would you give to someone just getting started?
- What type of experience would you suggest I pursue now that will help me be better prepared for this field?
- Are there any organizations, websites, or contacts that you suggest I follow up with?