Top 10 Questions to Ask During an Informational Interview

Do you want to learn about a field or career that interests you? Try scheduling an informational interview with someone who is a professional in your field.

Informational interviews are a way to meet people who you want to work for or with one day in a laid back, casual setting. Who better to tell you about your dream job than someone who has your dream job?

First, connect with them at local events, over social media, or on professional platforms like LinkedIn. Ask them out for coffee or lunch and then pick their brain about the business, their path that got them there, and any advice they have for you as you move up the ladder. 

Most people love to talk about their own journeys and give advice to those coming up, so it’s a win-win. 

Not sure where to start or what to ask during your informational interview? Here are 10 questions that you can ask this professional during your informational interview: 

  1. What first sparked your interest in this field? 
  2. What was the greatest piece of advice you received early on in your career? 
  3. If you could go back and do something different, what would it be?
  4. What was your greatest challenge last year and how did you overcome it? 
  5. What steps can I take to gain skills in your field? 
  6. How do you continue learning and improving your skills? 
  7. What are the biggest things outside of work that keep you grounded? 
  8. What do you do when you lose motivation? 
  9. If you could give me one homework assignment, what would it be?
  10. Do you make goals? What’s your process and how do you hold yourself accountable for reaching those goals? 

Remember, you both have sacrificed some time in your days to sit down with each other, so make it worth it. Customize the questions above to fit your own wants and needs, and make sure to formally thank this person for meeting with you. Sending a physical thank you card or an email are two great ways to do this.

Now that you have your questions prepped, it’s time to go out and send your LinkedIn connections an invite to coffee. You could even start with one of us, we like coffee too.