What questions might you ask during an informational interview?

Questions about the organization

  • What is the management style of this organization?
  • What values do you find in this job environment?

Questions about the interviewer’s own career

  • How did you first enter this job/career?
  • What motivated you to pursue this work, and what motivates you to stay in it?
  • What kind of background do you have?  Did it help you in this field?
  • How do you spend your time during a typical day?

Questions about the job, career or field

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of this field?
  • What are the career prospects in this field?
  • What kind of background is required for this type of position?
  • What kind of experience (internships?) would be advantageous in this field?
  • What technologies are integrated into this career?
  • How would you recommend that someone break into this field?
  • Is there something you would recommend I do to test whether this type of job is a fit for me?
  • Is there any other information you can offer to help me understand what it might be like to work in this sort of job?

Questions about working conditions

  • What are the typical working conditions of this job? (workload, expectations, dress codes, degree of independence, amount of supervision, closeness of relationships, pressures, degree of cooperation or competition)
  • What is the philosophy of the company around flex time, sick leave, personal days, daycare?
  • Is there much travel involved?

Questions about salary, benefits and promotion

  • What kind of compensation (salary and benefits) can one expect?
  • What are the possibilities for mobility? From one level to another? Between companies? Between states? Outside of the country?

Questions about referrals and future contacts

  • Who else would you recommend I contact for more information?
  • Could you recommend a person or organization that might provide a shadowing/externship experience for a day?

How do you handle an informational interview?