Informational Interview Guide

arrows_IGWe highly encourage you to interview a professional in your specific career field of interest. In these informal conversations, ask for feedback, and discuss questions that arose over the course of completing the exercise.Share what you learned about the job simulation experience with the professional. This Informational Interview Guide provides tips for getting in touch with a professional and also includes sample emails, questions to prompt the discussion, and information about the benefits of getting feedback from a professional.

Use this guide will help you understand what to expect, how to set up and close an informational interview, of course, how to write the Thank You note.

An example of how to structure the conversation:


  • Spend 10-15 minutes asking the professional questions.


  • Spend 5 minutes talking about yourself. The pro will likely want to know your motivation for setting up the interview and what you hope to gain.


    • Then move into the “we” part of the conversation where you ask them specific questions about the job sim for 10 minutes. It is “we” because you’ll go through the job sim, in essence. For example, you could say: “In completing the job sim, I used these websites – which websites do you use?” Additional questions:
      • Which resources do you find useful for X application?
      • Is this task typically performed in your company?
      • Do you find yourself doing this task often in your first sixth months?
      • How often do you work on this task in teams?
      • What do you find challenging about these types of tasks?

A postdoc said about the job sim experience:

”Bringing the job sim deliverable and talking about it really helped me understand the career field better. The professional was impressed I had tried something concrete.”

A grad student said:

”I had some feedback on my pitch… She also gave personalized advice for what my next steps should be (whether I should go a masters course or not, whether writing is right for me, and ideas for how I could get more writing experience).”