It’s something we all experience when deciding to either take that next step in our career or when we decide to switch career paths entirely. Request an informational interview with somebody who already works in a position or field you are pursuing.
You’ve put yourself out there to meet for the interview. The next step is making sure you make the most of it. If you want to get the most out of your time with the person, you will have to ask specific question that will give you valuable insight. Here are 4 questions you should never leave an informational interview without asking
1.What About the Position/Career Path Attracted You To It?
This question will give you an idea of what lured the person into the career path. It will also naturally set up the next few questions and give context to the person’s answers. You may also find that similar things are attracting you to the career path.
2.What Past Experiences Have Helped You the Most in Your Current Position?
It’s always helpful to discover how someone got to where they currently are in their career. You may find out that a certain skill or certification was pivotal for them along the way. If it’s something you don’t have, you’ll now know it’s something you need to look into. This can be valuable information if you are looking to make such a big jump.
3.What is a Piece of Information You Wish You Had Known Up-Front?
You can avoid at least one surprise by asking them what surprised them the most when they first started in the position. What piece of information did they wish they had known up-front that would have helped them? The surprise could have been anything from not realizing how much travel was involved to having to rely heavily on math skills. Whatever it ends up being, it can be another piece of knowledge to put under your belt.
4.What is Most Rewarding About the Position?
Along with some of the negatives and surprises, you of course want to know the best parts of the job. You may have your ideas of perks of the job, but there may be some you haven’t discovered yet. You’re aware the pay is good, but you didn’t realize that you get to meet all kinds of new people, or maybe you’ll find out that you will be helping people even more than you thought you would. You want to know these things to ensure they align with what you want out of your career.
Informational interviews are extremely helpful especially when stepping into the unknown of a new position or career path. Take time to plan these questions and be prepared with a notepad to take notes on the person’s answers. You’ll leave the interview enlightened and feeling prepared for the road ahead.