Information Interviewing Tips

  • Emphasize that you ARE NOT LOOKING FOR A JOB. YOU ONLY WANT INFORMATION.
  • Avoid personnel offices unless you are looking for a job in that field.
  • It is a good idea to research the occupational field and organizations prior to conducting information interviews.
  • Prepare questions prior to information interviewing.
  • Dress as if you were interviewing for a job. Women should wear dresses or suits, men should wear jackets and ties.
  • Bring resumes.
  • Take notes sparingly. Make notes following the discussion.
  • Compile a notebook with the questions asked and responses received.
  • Keep a list of the people with whom you talk and their job titles, employers, addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Ask who else you should contact for information. Record the names and addresses of people to whom you were referred.
  • Write thank you letters.
  • Make a good impression. You never know when this contact may lead to a job opportunity.
  • Information interviewing can be informative and enjoyable!

Thank-you letters

This is an essential piece of the job search and can play a significant role in the hiring process. The thank-you letter is significant to effective interview follow-up! After any interview (informational, full-time employment, graduate school, internship, or summer job) it is extremely important to send a thank you letter to the person(s) with whom you interviewed. If this is not feasible, then send a thank you to your interview ‘host’ or to the highest ranking manager you met with, and include a request to extend your thanks to the entire group. When used to follow up on employment interviews, thank you letters should be sent within 24 hours to everyone who interviewed you. In your thank you letter, you should:

  • Hand-write (neatly and on professional appearing stationary), type up and send in the mail, or email.
    • Hand-written letters may be more fitting for an organization in which you made a very close connection; while a typed or emailed thank you tends to work better for a conservative organization or if you have poor handwriting.
  • Also, don’t forget to send a thank you to those with whom you have had informational interviews as well as those individuals who serve as your references.

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