Informational interviews

Speaking to people is often the best way to find out about their work. What could you ask them?

Informational interviews are simply informal conversations with someone about their work or organisation, which help you to build a better awareness of their role or the sector they work in. 

These can provide insights that are not widely available. 

You can ask questions about the day-to-day aspects of their job, or the personal characteristics and skills that are required to be successful, or functional questions about the job and its positive and negative aspects. You can find out how an organisation operates - its structure, products, markets, and competitors - to gain a better commercial understanding. 

These discussions work just as well on the phone or online, as in person. You may feel awkward reaching out to people you don't know and this is understandable - however, most people actually enjoy taking a few moments out of their day to give advice to someone with an interest in their field. Show your appreciation, afterwards, by thanking them.

How can I find somebody to talk to?

Use the same techniques as you would if you were hoping to organise some work experience - but be clear, when you're making contact with someone, that it's simply information you're asking for.

Create your own opportunity

What questions can I ask?