Informational Interviews

I have my students do an informational interview with someone in their major so that they will know what to expect and whether this is indeed where they want to go.

The Chronicle.com has an article about doing informational interviews.

It’s all about people who aren’t sure they like the academic area they have gotten into. So, it is written for PhD students and academics, but it still applies to anyone who is thinking about changing careers.

Jenny: Before the interview, take a look at the most recent Occupational Outlook Handbook and see what the government says about that career field. Then during the interview, you might ask questions such as: “In what ways is your occupation changing?; what is the employment outlook in your career field?; do you know if the field is growing?; and, how is the downturn in the economy affecting your industry?”

Julie: With informational interviews, you are not only learning about a type of job, career, or industry, you are also building a network of contacts. It is unlikely that your informational interviews will result in a job in the short term, and that can be frustrating. However, as you slowly build your professional network, you’ll start to hear about openings from people you’ve interviewed.

The article has a lot of good ideas.

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