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Job Interviewing Guidelines

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 company?

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 interview.

  • 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 appointment.

 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 Request" Letter.)
  • 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 few questions?

 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 Dont's

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