Networking meetings, or informational interviews, can take place
in person, over the telephone or via email. The purpose of an
informational interview is to learn more about your field of
interest. Because you requested the meeting, you must prepare
an agenda. At the start of the meeting, introduce yourself
and provide the contact with your "Tell me about yourself"
statement. State who referred you and explain why you
requested the meeting. Sample questions may include: What are
the typical responsibilities? How did you get to where you
are today? What credentials/qualities do you look for when
hiring? Are there opportunities for advancement? Does
your company provide on-the-job training? Are there resources
you recommend? Do you know of anyone else I can speak
with? Always ask for a business card and the names of
additional contacts at the close of the meeting. Be sure to
send a thank you note or email within 48 hours of the meeting.
Questions for the Information
- How did you get to where you are today?
- How did you become interested in this field?
- What are the major responsibilities and specific duties of your
- What do you believe is the best educational background for this
- What types of personal qualities are necessary for this
- What do you look for when hiring?
- What is the typical background of the college graduates your
- Are there opportunities for graduates with no experience?
- Where do you see growth opportunities in this field?
- What is the typical career progression of individuals in this
- What are some of the demands of your job?
- What does one need to do in order to achieve career
- What do you like best and least about your career?
- If you had to do it over again, would you choose the same
career? What would you change?
- May I have names of other organizations that hire people in
- Are there resources you recommend?
- Would you mind taking a look at my resume?
- Could you suggest anyone else for me to speak with in this
Tips for the Information
- Do not ask for a job, but learn more about a particular
industry, build a relationship and make additional contacts.
- Dress professionally and take 5 clean copies of your
resume. Ask for your contact's input when offering your
- Prepare for an information interview as you would a job
interview. Provide examples that illustrate your skills and
be ready to answer the "Tell me about yourself" question.
- Never say anything negative about your current or former
employers or supervisors, professors or colleagues.
- Respect the busy schedule of your contact and allow him/her an
opportunity to end the meeting.
- Always ask for a business card and the names of additional
contacts at the close of the meeting.
- Send a thank you note or email within 48 hours of the
- Stay organized. Maintain business cards and records of
correspondence in one place.
- Keep your contact posted on your communication with recommended
additional contacts and your job search progress.