Preparing for the Informational Interview

  • Prepare your questions-do not ask questions that would be readily available on the company’s website or in promotional material

  • Prepare your script

  • Do your homework, have basic information about careers and organizations of interest 

When contacting people…

  • Introduce yourself

  • Explain the purpose of your request

  • Ask for a face to face meeting as this is a more enriching and effective interview.  You will want to see the work environment and you want the person to meet you.

  • Be specific with the amount of time you are requesting (20-30 minutes works well)

  • Make sure you have done your research

  • Have your questions ready and in front of you, you may reach someone who would prefer to conduct the interview on the phone with this first contact

  • Ask for the names of the people you speak with, including receptionists, write their names down

  • Keep your call professional, courteous and concise; practice your script beforehand

Should you bring your resume?

The Experiential Learning Hub advisors would say 'No', although other career professionals might say bring one, just in case.  We recommend that you do not bring a resume to this type of interview as going in 'armed' (so to speak) reveals your true intentions for the interview.

If the interviewee requests a resume, enthusiastically offer to send or drop one off and consider tweaking it to highlight key skills that were identified during your meeting. Dropping off your resume may buy you another opportunity to meet with an interviewee now turned potential employer.


  • Arrive on time

  • Take only as much time as you asked for (20 - 30 minutes)

  • When you make contact in person or by phone, have your script and questions ready

  • Dress as if you are meeting for a job interview

  • Be prepared with 8-10 questions, ideally typed

  • Take notes

  • Obtain a business card

  • Thank the person after the interview verbally and send a follow up thank you card/email

  • DO NOT ask for a job under any circumstances