Close up of student taking notes in a her notebook during class

An informational interview is where you seek out advice and information from a professional in a field you are interested in. This is an effective research tool that can help answer questions you might have about what it takes to work in certain industries and the proper steps to get into a career. Informational interviews are often informal and serve as a great networking tool to help you connect with people and careers after graduation.

4 steps to set up an informational interview


  • Research employers and professionals that you would like more information about. Learn about the company and positions they hire for. Use LinkedIn to see if a CU Boulder alum works there and connect with them.
  • Call or email the individual to set up a specific time for an informational interview. Tell them you are researching their field or company, and asking for advice or information. Have your list of questions prepared in case they have time right when you contact them. Be clear in your correspondence that this is an "informational interview" and you are not seeking employment.
  • Ask for a 20–30-minute meeting at their convenience, at their work site, and assure them that you know they are busy and you will be brief.
  • Be professional. Dress appropriately and come prepared with questions and a notepad or a professional padfolio. Be prepared to direct the conversation.

Informational Interview Request Template

Subject: Informational Interview Request

Dear Ms. Smith,

My name is Jessie Taylor and I am a senior marketing major at CU Boulder. I recently came across your LinkedIn profile and was intrigued by your experience. I also noticed you’re a CU Boulder alum.

As an aspiring marketer, I’d love to learn more about the skills you’ve used in your career and if you have any advice for getting started. I would love to schedule a short meeting to ask you a few questions. I’m sure you’re busy, so even 15- to 30-minutes would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Jessie

Sample Informational Interview Questions
  • How did you get started in this field?
  • If you were starting out again, what would you do differently?
  • What are the most important factors used to hire people in this work (education, experience, skills)?
  • How do people find out about positions in your company?
  • What is the entry-level salary range for this industry?
  • What is a typical workday like? A typical week?
  • What do you perceive as the major rewards and challenges to this field?
  • Can you explain your company culture?
  • How much security do you feel in this organization? In this field?
  • What trends, changes, or issues do you see shaping the direction of this field in five to ten years?
  • Is an advanced degree helpful for promotion?
  • What is the best advice you can give a person interested in this occupation?
  • What professional organizations do you suggest?
  • Where else could I find people who do this type of work? Who else do you recommend I talk to?