To help you get ready for the big interview!

If you’ve ever felt lost or unsure about a job opportunity, informational interviews are something you should definitely know about.

An informational interview is a friendly conversation with someone who works in a career you find interesting. It’s important to remember that these chats aren’t job interviews; they’re more like opportunities to learn about what it’s really like to work in that field.

It’s like a sneak peek into the secret world of the companies you dream of working for someday.

To set you up for greatness, we’ve put together five steps for a successful informational interview.

Do your research

A woman saying she is going to look the information up on her phone.

Take some time to explore the career path you’re interested in and the companies that interest you. Then, you can begin searching for individuals working in that field and organizations that match your preferences.

LinkedIn is a fantastic resource when it comes to finding people in your desired field. You can check out companies’ pages and see who works there by job role. You can also find suggestions for connecting with people who share your career aspirations.

Why limit yourself to merely following new people on Instagram when you can expand your horizons by connecting with potential future colleagues on LinkedIn?

Narrow down your choices

A woman holding a cardboard with many options.

After your search, you might end up with an extensive list of people you’d like to chat with. But hold your horses, that’s not our target here.

The goal is to streamline your informational interviews to connect with just a couple of individuals who closely match your job aspirations and the companies you’re eyeing.

Once you’ve pinpointed these gems, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. You can use either LinkedIn or email. Craft a concise introduction that provides a glimpse of yourself, and express your keen interest in seeking advice from someone actively working in your desired field.

Prepare for the interview

Baseball player saying that you should always be ready.

At this point, we know that the main idea of informational interviews is to gather information about the position and the company you are planning to apply to. But it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to ask.

We suggest asking about their role, details about company culture, skills and abilities required for the job and what a typical day looks like.

While it’s great to have a list of your primary questions ready, keep in mind to actively listen to the person you’re conversing with. This way, you can spontaneously come up with follow-up questions. And remember, try to make it feel like a friendly conversation. It’s not a formal interview, just a casual coffee chat!

In the interview

Man wearing a suit is lost in a hallway.

While an informational interview isn’t a job interview, you want to look and sound as professional as possible.

Dress in a way that suits the workplace you’re exploring. Be respectful of their schedule if you’ve agreed on a timeframe and make sure to arrive on time if meeting in-person or virtually.

Your behaviour and professionalism can leave a good impression and make them more willing to share information with you. Informational interviews are the right opportunity to not only be professional but also be open about your questions and experiences.

Follow up

Man pointing at you and saying let's touch base.

Maintaining the connection is crucial. Even if you had an amazing conversation, it’s easy for them to forget you without a follow-up.

Be sure to send a thank-you note to express your gratitude for their time and the valuable information they provided. Sending this note and staying in touch can open doors to future opportunities, so, remember to keep the connection alive!

Woman on the phone saying I'm networking.

Informational interviews are super helpful conversations that can help you learn more about the job and the company you want to work at. Also, they can get you ready for the big job interview!

IGNITE Job fair


Hungry for more information? To help set you for success, IGNITE is hosting a Job Fair, a walk-in event to inform students about our part-time positions that we’re hiring for in the winter semester.

Attend the IGNITE Job Fair on Nov. 7 at the North campus and on Nov. 8 at the Lakeshore campus. Kicking off at 10:30 a.m., the event will explore IGNITE’s part-time positions and the qualifications required for each type of role.

Don’t miss out!

Featured image via Pexels

Are you looking to improve your resume? Check our top resume hacks to land your dream job.

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