Informational Interview Template
Editorial Team | On August 9, 2023
In an increasingly digitalized job market, the power of human connection remains unparalleled. Among the most potent networking tools available to job seekers and professionals alike is the informational interview. While many are familiar with the term, mastering the art of conducting a productive informational interview requires preparation and strategy. If you’ve found yourself seeking an effective “informational interview template,” this comprehensive guide is tailor-made for you.
What Exactly is an Informational Interview?
At its core, an informational interview is a strategic conversation. Rather than a job interview, it’s an opportunity for aspiring professionals to connect with industry veterans, gathering insights about specific roles, companies, or industries. It’s a dialogue where curiosity meets experience.
Why Informational Interviews Matter
- Networking Opportunities: At the heart of every informational interview is the chance to expand one’s professional network.
- Valuable Insights: Gain firsthand knowledge about the ins and outs of specific roles or industries.
- Career Direction: It can provide clarity, affirming or redirecting one’s professional trajectory based on real-world insights.
Crafting the Perfect Informational Interview Request
Before diving deep into the interview itself, you must effectively request one. Here’s a template to request an informational interview:
Subject: Seeking Insights on [Industry/Role] – Informational Interview Request
My name is [Your Name], and I am deeply interested in [specific industry or role]. As I was researching prominent professionals in this field, your name consistently appeared, and I was particularly impressed by [a specific achievement or responsibility they hold].
I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to chat briefly, perhaps 20-30 minutes of your time, to learn from your experience. I’m not seeking a job, but genuinely hoping to understand more about [specific topic or role].
Would you be available for a brief conversation over the next few weeks? I’m flexible and can accommodate your schedule.
Thank you in advance for considering my request. I truly appreciate it.
Your Go-to Informational Interview Template
Introduction and Gratitude
- Start by introducing yourself, your current role or study, and your professional aspirations.
- Express genuine gratitude for their time and the opportunity to learn from them.
Inquiring About Their Journey
- “Can you walk me through your professional journey and how you arrived at your current position?”
- “Were there pivotal moments or decisions that shaped your career?”
Delving Into Industry Specifics
- “What trends or challenges do you foresee in the [specific industry] over the next few years?”
- “How has [specific industry] evolved since you started?”
- “What does a typical day look like for you?”
- “What skills or attributes do you believe are essential for success in your role?”
Seeking Guidance and Advice
- “If you were in my shoes today, what steps would you take to enter or progress in [specific industry/role]?”
- “Are there resources or individuals you recommend I explore to deepen my understanding?”
- Thank them once more for their insights and time.
- Ask if there’s anyone else they recommend you speak with, further expanding your network.
Making the Most of the Informational Interview
- Do Your Homework: Always research the individual and their company beforehand.
- Be Authentic: This isn’t a covert job interview. Be genuine in your pursuit of knowledge.
- Listen More, Talk Less: It’s a golden opportunity to learn, so take notes and absorb as much as you can.
Post-Interview: The Follow-Up
After the conversation, always send a thank you note. Not only is this courteous, but it also helps cement your connection. Express gratitude, mention a particular insight that resonated with you, and express hope for future interactions.