Information Interviews

What are they?

Information Interviewing is just what it sounds like: an interview or meeting for the purpose of collecting information. It is the single most effective tool in tapping into the “hidden job market,” the jobs that are never advertised. Information Interviewing is the way to establish your professional career network.

You’ve probably heard dozens of people talk about securing a fabulous job though networking. You may have said to yourself, “But I don’t know anyone in my field; how am I supposed to network?” The answer is Information Interviewing.

An Information Interview is a meeting intended to gather information about a specific career area, firm or company. IT IS NOT A JOB INTERVIEW. You will follow up with your information interviewing contacts to secure job interviews at a later date.

There are many benefits of Information Interviewing, some of which are presented at the left. There are also many misconceptions that hinder many people from undertaking this valuable job search tool.

To quote Katharine Hansen, author of A Foot in the Door, available in Career Services:

“You’re a college student embarking on a career path. Talking to people in that field just makes sense. Yet most students never do. You trust your professors, textbooks, or romantic notions about professions gleaned from TV or movies. Consider supplementing that secondhand knowledge with informational interviewing — the ultimate networking technique for all college students.”

There are many reasons to engage in Information Interviewing.

  • Information Interviewing is the most effective way to establish a career-related network.
  • 80% of all hiring is done through networking.
  • Small design firms and businesses are even more likely to hire via networking because they do not have a large human resources staff.
  • One out of every 200-1500 resumes sent results in a job offer. One out of every 12 information interviews result in a job offer.
  • Companies and individuals nearly always respond positively to requests for information.
  • Information Interviewing allows you to “try on” your career choices by getting solid information at the source.
  • This is the best way to find those jobs that are never advertised.