Informational interview – research assignment (step 1 & 2)

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This class is asking you to conduct an informational interview to practice your interviewing skills in a real life setting as well as gain some valuable insight to an industry you are interested in. Every interview takes time to prepare. For this assignment I want you to do some research.

First you must find a person to interview and set up the interview. Your will select a specific career oriented industry that they potentially would like to work in (a paid career position only), or an expert in that particular field that can help you gain insight to starting your career.

This is a GREAT opportunity, this assignment has resulted in jobs and internships for students every time this course is taught! Be professional and be prepared!

The interview should be brief (20-30 minutes). Always ask for permission to record. Always take written notes so you can assess afterwards and remember what you learned.

Please avoid interviewing current employers, relatives, or those you have established relationships with. This is a chance to expand your network.

Step 1: Answer the following

Who is your interview with? Name and contact information.

What company/organization is your interviewee connected to?

What is their title or role with the company/organization?

In two pages (double spaced) please answer the following surrounding the interview that you will be going on.

  • Trends in the industry
    • Major occurrences in the past six, 12, or 24 months in your interviewee’s professional field
    • Potential future trends?
  • Company/Organization Insights
    • Review the company’s social media and position in news media. What are the major talking points that are surrounding the company? How will you navigate and be respectful of any negative talking points?
  • Advice
    • Think about what advice you may be seeking or try to gain from this informational interview
    • Desired guidance on what you might do to break into the new professional field
    • What topics do you have to discuss?
  • Impress them
    • What information can you use in the interview to show knowledge, maturity, and/or readiness to enter the company/industry?
  • Framing Yourself
    • What can you share in the interview to leave an impression or build a connection?
    • Specific projects you have undertaken at your current place of employment or in school that would put you in the best position to move into the new field.

Step 2: Reach out

Write to your interview and narrow down an interview in the next two weeks. When reaching out use your student status – that often opens more doors. Discuss the assignment and what topics you are hoping to learn about. Show you already know something about the industry and have done your homework. Suggest different modalities – (in-person only if you are comfortable) otherwise skype or phone are good options. Let them know that the interview will only be 20-30 minutes. Remember that their time is valuable but suggest a few possible time.

Copy the email as part of this assignment.

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