Ten Questions you should ask in an informational interview

DFN: Informational interviews are a go way of introducing yourself to hiring managers in a non threatening venue. This is a good opportunity to begin to develop relationship, you just don’t know what will come from efforts like this or when.

10 questions you should ask in an informational interview

October 7, 4:25 PM

SF Young Professionals Examiner
Christine Cruz


Informational interviews are a strategic opportunity for you to talk to professional contacts in a casual setting to find out more about a certain company, industry, or job role that you are interested in.

You can meet with someone over coffee, lunch, or happy hour martinis. If they are not in your area, you can talk over the phone or exchange emails.

The purpose of an informational interview is not to ask for a job. It is to expand your professional network, learn more about an industry / company / job role, and get in front of the person in order to start building a professional relationship. Ask a lot of questions about the person’s background and what their specialty is. And if you can, try to walk away with at least one referral or contact. Most importantly, end the interview by returning the favor and asking how you can help them as well.

10 questions you should ask in an informational interview:

1.) What was your educational / professional background before you used to work for ______?

2.) Tell me about what you currently do at ________.

3.) What is the company culture like at ________?

4.) In addition to _________, who else do you consider your
competitors? How is ________ different from your competitors?

Do your research initially on who their competition is. Ask for additional companies they consider as their competition. You can add those additional companies to your target list of companies to research.

5.) What do they look for in new hires on their resume / educational background / skill set?

6.) What do you like about _______? What do you dislike about ________?

7.) What are some current trends you see in your industry? Where do you see your industry headed?

You can leverage this information and share this with others at future informational interviews!

8.) What are some professional associations you are involved in?

9.) Can you recommend anybody I should speak to in your industry or a hiring manager?

10.) Do you know of any companies that are currently hiring in this industry?

Use these 10 questions the next time you request to meet with someone for an informational interview.

Go get ’em!


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