I’ve conducted scores of informational interviews in my life, and enthusiastically (and repeatedly) encourage my students to do so as a means of learning more about specific jobs, occupations, and/or industries by reaching out to people they know (or people who know people they know). To that end, I’ve used the following six questions—modified as needed for each meeting—to guide my inquiry when meeting new people to talk about their careers.
1. What do you do?
2. What led you to choose this line of work?
3. What are the greatest challenges you face?
4. How did past experiences and education lead you to where you are now professionally?
5. Where do you see yourself professionally in five years (or, “How do you see your career evolving?”)
6. What advice would you offer to anyone considering pursuing this occupation and/or entering this industry?