Job Interviewing Guidelines
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Informational interviewing can be extremely helpful in researching
information about jobs, companies and schools.
1. Please remember that when you do an informational interview, you
are not asking for a job! Therefore, you don't need to be nervous about
your interview. You will be asking the questions to find out what you
want to know.
2. Figure out what kind of information you want. Is it to find out
about college programs, or about a specific job, or about a particular
3. Who do you call? It is always best if you know someone that can
refer you to someone they know; this is called a third party contact. If
you don't have a contact, or you don't know anyone there yourself, it is
called a cold call. You can still make the appointment and have a good
- For colleges, you can talk to an advisor in the area you are
interested in. You can find these numbers in the phone book. You can
also check with your high school career center.
- For a company, find the number in the phone book, and call and
ask to speak to someone in Human Resources. If you know someone who
works there, you can talk to that person.
- For information about a particular job, you might want to call a
place that has the kind of job you're interested in and ask for
Human Resources, or the name of someone doing that job.
4. How do you contact them?
- You can call directly and make an appointment for a visit
- You can write a letter asking for an appointment to come and
visit. If you write a letter, you still need to call and set up an
5. What do you say?
- For a letter: Use a "standard business letter format" and tell
the person you are interested in learning more about their field of
work. You would like to meet with them for a brief visit and find
out more about what they do. (See "Sample Informational Interview
- For a phone call about a job: Hello, my name is ____________.
I'm a student at _____________. I've been reading about different
careers, and would like to find out more from people working in
those jobs. Would it be possible for me to come and visit with you
for about 20 minutes one day to ask you a few questions?
- For a phone call to an advisor about a training program at a
school or college: Hello, my name is _____________. I'm a student at
_________________. I'm interested in the field of _________, and
would like to meet with you to find out about the training program
you have in your school. Could I set up a time to come and ask you a
6. Set up your appointment.
- Make sure you get directions when you make the appointment.
- Make sure you know how to get there. If you have never been
there, you should go one day before your appointment just to make
sure you can find it, and you know how long it takes to get there.
7. Make a list of questions you want to ask the person you are
interviewing. You can take your notes with you, and write down any
information they tell you that you want to remember.
8. After your appointment, be sure and send them a thank you note.
More: Interviewing Dos and