If you’re exploring careers and interested in learning more about a particular job or career field, then the following list of questions I believe are the best questions to ask during an informational interview. In fact, this is the list of possible informational interviewing questions that I recommend to my students.
Nineteen questions will likely be too many to ask during an informational interview. For the best results with your informational interview, you’ll want to choose your questions carefully, and include other types of questions altogether, that are most relevant to the person that you are interviewing and to your own particular goals that you seek from your interview. In other words, don’t simply use the questions I’ve listed below – be picky.
- What is your job title and what is the name of your company/organization?
- Briefly, can you let me know how you got to where you are today?
- On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being “A LOT” and 1 being “NOT SO MUCH”), how much do you enjoy your job overall?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how good are you at what you do in your job?
- How long have you been doing this job?
- What are your responsibilities?
- What is a typical day like?
- What skills are required for your job?
- What do you enjoy doing the most?
- What are 3 things that you enjoy most about working at your company/organization?
- What are the greatest challenges of the job?
- What are the 3 most challenging aspects of working at your company/organization?
- Can you share any general salary information, such as the range for entry level positions? [As this question sometimes can be awkward to ask, I will often research the salary range in advance (www.salary.com) and then ask something like: According to salary.com, the range for a public high school teacher in the Northern California Bay Area is between $$$ and $$$. Do you think that that’s accurate?]
- What resources, such as websites or professional associations, would you recommend that I check out to learn more about this career? [Tip: Research the associations and organizations in advance so that you are knowledgeable about the more popular ones. You can then ask better questions as well as make a great impression by showing that you’ve obviously done your homework.]
- What kind of opportunities are there for advancement, and how would one qualify?
- If I wanted to start in this career area, how would you recommend that I go about pursuing this career path?
- If you had a chance to do it all over again, what would you have done differently?
- Is there anyone that you think I should speak with about my career exploration, and if so, can I use your name?
- Would it be all right if I kept in touch with you? How would you prefer that I keep in touch?
What do you think of the questions? Are there any good questions that I’m missing from this list? Please share below.