Every one of us has access to people with far greater levels of experience than we do – people who could provide us with career insights and career development options. There is so much wisdom within our reach just waiting for us to tap into, yet many people seem to prefer the pain of the trial and error approach.
Website Youtern.com recently featured an article by Jule Gamache which provides a list of questions to ask at an informational interview. An informational interview is defined as a meeting with a person, in an informal setting, where you ask all the questions of the more experienced person, with the purpose on gathering information for your own career.
Jule breaks the questions into four categories and some of the examples she lists which I’ve found most useful include:
Questions about their career
- What do you do during a typical day/week?
- What aspects of your job do you find most challenging?
- What are the aspects you find most enjoyable?
- What do you do to ensure you achieve work/life balance?
Questions about sharpening your own skills
- What professional associations would you recommend I join?
- Can you tell me about the professional development activities you’d suggest I explore?
- How do you stay updated on ‘big picture’ trends?
- What blogs or publications do you read?
- Who do you follow on social media?
Questions about recruitment practices
- What are the key aspects you look for in a person when recruiting?
- Are there certain attributes that make a person a stand-out applicant?
- If I was applying for a job with you, how would you assess my experience so far? What would you suggest I do next to continue my development?
Wrapping up the interview
- Can you suggest anyone else I should speak with?
- Do you have any final advice as I enter the job search?
Preparation is important and Jule’s suggest you find out, in advance, how much time the person will have and then make a list of your questions.
You can view her full article by clicking here.
Also view related article ‘How to develop your career without leaving your employer’