5 Important Questions to Ask During An Informational Interview
Some people know exactly what they want to do with their career and some don't. I personally didn't figure that out until the middle of college, but once I did I set up a lot of informational interviews. These are beneficial for many reasons. First, it's a great way to learn more about the career you potentially want. Second, this is a nice way to open up your network and introduce yourself to new people.
Below, you'll find five questions that are great to ask for your informational interview. Keep in mind, this is list to get you started and feel free to add or remove whatever you'd like! What other questions would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Start with a question about their career path.
Even though this is an informational interview, you definitely want to do your research. Take a look at the person's LinkedIn profile and see where they have worked in the past. It'll be great for them to know that you took a look into their background and it proves you have a real interest. It could be something as simple as, "I noticed you started at XX company. How did you realize that this career was for you?"
What do you like the most and least about this job?
The answers to both of these questions could surprise you. Maybe they like the little things about the job that you wouldn't expect. It's great to hear about the good parts, but since this is an informational interview and you're looking to learn about the job in full, you should definitely ask about the downside. The hours could be really long or maybe it's a high-stress work environment that isn't compatible with you. Either way, it's great to know about everything you may be signing up for.
What advice would you give to someone like me that is just starting out?
I always like to hear what people have to say about this question. They usually tell you something they wish they knew when they first started, so it's almost like you're getting a jump start on things you'll have to learn or figure out.
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
If you're in a field that you know requires a lot of time, for example, public relations, I highly recommend asking this question. Also, think about the kind of personal life you want to live. If you're someone that wants time to travel as often as possible, you may not want to go into a job that is described as "24/7." However, if this doesn't bother you, it doesn't hurt to hear how other people manage their time.
What is the most rewarding part about working here?
I ask this question at the end of every single interview. If you're interested in one day working at the company, you can really learn so much about a company's culture in the answer to this question. Is the interviewer struggling to come up with something or are they eager and enthusiastic to share their thoughts? The answer could reveal all you need to know.