What is an Information Interview?

What is an Information Interview?

In a job interview, you're aiming to get a job. In an information interview, you're aiming for information. What kind of information?

Learn about a company

Continuing our blog conversation on avoiding awful work experiences, Isabella Mori recommends using an information interview (also called an informational interview) to scout out companies that seem to have the values and work culture you'd like. The key is setting up a lightning-fast interview where you get a chance to ask a few questions about the company's practices and decide in advance if they'd be a bad place to work.

Learn about a profession

If you're fresh out of school, recently made aliya or are considering a career change, an information interview can be a great way to learn about a specific profession.

Make your interviewee understand that some guidance from them could have a tremendous impact on your life. They need a good reason to take time out of their busy schedule. An ego-boosting mentoring moment could be the best 15 minutes of their day.

Focus on the person you're interviewing instead of their company. Find out what made your interviewer go into that field, what they like about it, what was unexpected, etc. The goal is to have the minimum replies you need to make your decision.

Always keep in mind

Be ultra-respective of your interviewee's time and avoid talking about yourself. If they ask you a question, give short answers and explain why you're doing so. And of course, never mention that you're looking for a job since your pretense is that you may not even go into that field.

Have you ever been to an information interview?

Find out more

Learn what you expected? Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email and follow me on Twitter for help making wise career moves.

About the Author Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

follow me on:
  • well, having brought up this idea in the first place – of course, i have!

    one of the best ones was when i dropped in for about 10 minutes and after 10 minutes i said, “thanks for your time, i’ll be going now” and the person asked me to stay. we talked for about 1 1/2 hours, and out of that came a very interesting contract job.

  • Jacob Share says:

    Great story, Isabella. Would you say that you went in like a journalist?

  • jacob, that’s a great comparison. because one of the many benefits of doing information interviews is that it makes you an information broker. of course you don’t divulge sensitive information but in the course of networking with all these people, you pick up a lot of general industry information and tidbits that can also be helpful for the person you’re interviewing.

  • […] Information interviews at companies you’d like to impress. […]

  • […] that could be spent meeting with real people, completing informational interviews, and using Linkedin, Plaxo or Xing to find contacts at your target companies.  Since you cannot […]

  • […] Do information interviews. This is a great way to get your foot in the door, and you’d be surprised how often in can […]

  • […] informational interviews, forum and blog questions, trade show visits, radio call-ins, whatever it takes for you to get a […]

  • […] Once your skill-matching research has lead to a few potential new career directions to consider more seriously, it's the perfect opportunity to reach out to people in those jobs for information interviews. […]

  • >