Information Interviewing – What Do You Want To Know? (Part 2/5)

Post Date: March 27th, 2015

How did you enjoy researching this potential field you are considering as a career change?  Did it energize you?  Did you feel overwhelmed or fearful?  It can be interesting to identify the emotion you experience and see what’s prompting it.  Fear in particular can be complex.  Is it based on reality  or insecurities that can be overcome?  What would you need in order to reduce the fear?  More information, skills, knowledge?  What steps, if you chose to pursue this new field, could you take to get that missing ingredient?

On to the next step… What do you want to know?

Most people enjoy sharing information and their experiences. The key to informational interviewing is to be well prepared, prompt, and respectful of your source’s time.  Requesting 20 minutes for a phone or in-person conversation is usually accepted.  That said, 20 minutes only allows for you to ask 6-8 questions.  To maximize your time, I have a formula, but we’ll cover that later.

What specifically would you like to know from someone in the field?  Perhaps something regarding what you fear to see if it is your fear is well founded?  (Fears that often come up here are around money and the need for a degree from a prestigious college.)

To prime your thinking, here are a few suggestions to get started:

–          What is ‘a day in the life of’ really like?

–          Where can you learn more about this field?  ( associations, job boards, places to network)

–          How do you see the field changing over the next 10 years?

–          If you were starting out in the field today, what do you wish you knew?  What advice would you give?

This week, brainstorm on what you want to learn, then pare down your list to 6-10 key questions in order of priority.

Next week we’ll discuss how to schedule an information interview.

To your success,

Gwyneth Anne


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