In our last blog post, we introduced various tips and tricks for finding success in your next informational interview. Today, we give you a brief insight into some basic questions that will set you on a path to gaining valuable insight into a new career path, position or company.
The following are seven basic questions to help you get your informational interview started. Take each as a guideline, get creative and form unique questions to really get the most out of your next informational interview.
- What was your career path to get to your current position and which traits do you think made you successful? This is a great starting point; it will entice conversation about the individual and will help them get more comfortable early on in the interview.
- How do most people get started in this field? This question will give you a broader idea of how the particular industry, sector or position works, and will give a general sense of the field, rather than the experience of one individual.
- Describe what you think to be the pros and cons of working in this field. Short and sweet, but sure to pack a punch. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions that you want the answers to, providing they are professional and appropriate.
- What does a stellar candidate for XYZ position or in XYZ field look like? This is always a question with varied answers, but valuable ones none the less. Every professional will have their differences, but there should be similarities in the traits, skills and experiences interviewees describe.
- What kinds of things could I do to better my chances for breaking into your field? While this particular question is not necessarily a staple in an informational interview between executives, it is essential for someone looking to break into an unfamiliar field or just starting out in the professional world. Use this question to your advantage and take the answer seriously; it could alter your professional life dramatically.
- What kinds of associations should I be joining? Which professional publications should I be reading and what kinds of networking events should I take part in? Fairly self-explanatory, these questions will lead to gaining more knowledge about the field or position you are looking into, as well as being better prepared for the job. The informational interview should help you develop a foundation to build upon.
- Would you mind taking a look at my resume? Always welcome feedback on your documents. A second set of eyes can spot small mistakes or suggest changes you may not have thought of.
Keep in mind that these seven questions are the bare essentials and should be altered to fit each interview. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions that could help you gain a stronger sense of the position or industry you are interested in. Be creative and good luck!
Menlo Partners Staffing provides temporary staffing and direct hire, contingent recruitment services for roles within accounting, administration, finance, human resources, marketing and operations. Contact us today by phone at 650-752-6193 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.