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Whether getting close to the end of your academic tenure or leaving a job that has been a home to you for years, finding a new position can be very intimidating. With a job market that grows more competitive year-in and out, careers that continue to evolve with the progression of technology, and the anxiety that follows starting a new position, being in the hunt for a new profession can be frightening! However, being organized and having confidence in your qualifications can help face this exciting adventure head-on, and there isn’t a better way to prepare than with an Informational Interview. As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

Benefits of Informational Interviewing: An informational interview consists of meeting with someone in a particular industry or company with the intention of gaining insight or advice on a career. Despite the title, an informational interview doesn’t carry the same magnitude or structure of a job interview. Rather it’s more of an informal conversation where the inquirer can gain insider knowledge, advice, and potential connections in a certain field.

Six Steps of Informational Interviewing: The University of California, Berkeley recently published an article detailing the Six Steps of Informational Interviewing as a resource for graduating students preparing for their career. The outline is as follows:

  1. Research Career Fields
  2. Identify People to interview
  3. Prepare for the interview
  4. Initiate contact
  5. Conduct the informational interview
  6. Follow-Up

The article consists of details, tips, and ideas for each step in the process. To learn more, visit: https://career.berkeley.edu/Info/InfoInterview to see their exceptional publishing piece on informational interviews.

  • Davies, Elizabeth. Informational Interviewing. University of California, Berkeley, July 2021.

Extra Tips: Despite not having the same pressure as a job interview, carrying out an informational interview with the same preparation can be very beneficial. In our experience, dressing professionally, taking detailed notes, being respectful, asking researched and professional questions, and establishing a rapport with the person you meet with can help expand your network, and potentially land that dream job!