Cornell University

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Information Interview Questions

As you prepare for your information interviews, remember that the kinds of questions you focus on will depend on where you are in your career development. What do you need to learn from your contacts, now? Be sure to plan carefully so that you make a good impression on the individuals you meet.

You can find many ideas of information interview discussion points by conducting an Internet search, or consider some of the following ones.

Career Field

  • Please tell me a little bit about your work.
  • How did you decide to enter this field?
  • What do you like most about your work? Least?
  • What education or training is necessary for this type of work?
  • Do you have an advanced degree? Is one required in this field?
  • Is the field changing? In what ways?
  • What are the greatest challenges you face in your job/organization?
  • Are internships, volunteering, or other experiences helpful to getting a job in this field?
  • What are the entry-level opportunities in this field? How can I learn about openings?
  • What do you consider to be the growth areas in the field?
  • What are some related careers I might consider?

Organization

  • What is the typical career path in your line of work in this organization?
  • What formal or on-the-job training does your organization provide?
  • Considering my skills, interests, and academic background, where might you see me fitting into this organization or a similar one?

Lifestyle and Work Environment

  • Generally, what is the work environment like here?
  • How many hours do people work in a typical week?
  • What obligations does your job place upon you outside the normal work week?
  • How much flexibility do you have in terms of dress, hours of work, and vacation schedule?

General

  • If you were back in college, would you do anything differently in terms of coursework or summer experiences?
  • If you were just coming out of college and looking for this kind of work, how would you conduct your job search?
  • Can you suggest others whom I could speak with about this field? May I use your name when I contact them? Should I make contact by e-mail, phone, or letter?
  • Do you have any additional advice for me?