The informational interview refers to the discussion between you and an individual who serves at the position similar to what you have applied for. It does not mean to secure a job instantly by making conversation with that person. Probably, there is not even an open position.
The purpose of these questions is collecting valuable information. The question arises: what is the way of collecting the information? The answer is: by putting forward the informational interview questions.
You need to find a professional or an experienced individual, who can give you some time, either via phone or in person. If you manage to find such an individual, make sure you have already prepared a set of questions. For this purpose, you have to conduct some research so that you could make use of the time.
Following Are the Eight Essential Questions
Question no. 1: I noted that you have experience of working with Company X and Company Y. What led you to adopt the career path with this company?
Answer: Spend some time to conduct research about the person’s profile. Learn about their background and note any substantial or paradigm shift in their career. This is a relevant question to start with, and it will also demonstrate that you have done your homework before the meeting.
This question will enable you to understand the basic career path that may direct you to this job.
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Question no. 2: What are the primary duties of your job that you carry out daily?
Answer: Perhaps, you are of the view that you know the duties of the person because you know the job title. However, the person may tell you something surprising because several companies deal with things differently.
This is a significant informational interview question as it paves the way for learning how professionals perform tasks daily. Sometimes, looking at the job description does not convey you the real picture of the duties and responsibilities.
Through this question, you will be able to know: does this job include responsibilities that you initially thought?
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Question no. 3: What is the most enjoying aspect for you in this job?
Answer: This question may also surprise you. Perhaps, their favourite aspect is some most straightforward task. Probably, the job offers some perks that you have no idea about.
When you get to know what the person likes more about their job, you will also learn why they want to continue this job. If they reply: payday; do not consider this an appropriate answer because money is not the only goal to pursue a career.
This question will help you to know how one can develop an emotional connection with the job. At times, an emotional connection is necessary to stick to an appointment for a long-term.
Question no. 4: What is the least exciting thing about your job?
Answer: Keep in mind, and it is not a real job interview, so, you can include questions that may not necessarily be part of any job interview. Remember, you are having a discussion with a professional employee, and they do not have to pretend.
They can tell you the exact scenario. They may hate some everyday tasks, such as making a long report that takes a few hours of their time. It might be the office politics or lack of support from their senior or managers.
This question will enable you to understand that not everything about the office is exciting. However, professionals need to adjust themselves according to the situation.
For a successful career, you must show flexibility in the office environment. Even if you don’t like a few things in your organizational environment, with the time you manage to sort them out.
Question no. 5: Do you see any change in this job during the next few years?
Answer: Take into account any career, you may wish to pursue, and imagine how the career was ten years ago. That may be quite different now. Social Media and Technology have revolutionized many professions.
Marketing, Human Resource Management, construction jobs and others have changed from what they were about 10-15 years ago.
The purpose of this question is to foresee changes in the industry you want to step in. A true professional is always ready to adapt to changes. The discussion about this point will highlight any probable changes that a particular industry may undergo.
Question no. 6: Is there anything that you think you could change, and you want to even go back in time to do that?
Answer: About a few things, people may want to look back and may think they could have done things differently. They might want to do some extra certification or a degree that may be beneficial for this job.
Listen to their answer carefully, and make a note of what they say because it may be helpful for you to plan your career. They might discuss with you any mistake that they have made in the past.
Question no. 7: What types of Work Samples should my portfolio contain?
Answer: At this stage, you might have gained some know-how in the field of your interest. The question arises: do you also have the required experience?
This is an excellent informational interview question as your portfolio holds significance in the context of securing a job. Organizations want to check that what have you done practically. This question will enable you to know if your portfolio is going in the right direction?
Question no. 8: Who else can you recommend that I hold discussion with regarding this career?
Do not end your discussion without asking this question. You need to broaden your view, and speaking with more people belonging to the industry is the right thing to do.
If they recommend more people and connect you to a few of them, it will be a bonus for you. It will be an opportunity to have more details about the industry.
Informational Interview Questions are essential as they enable you to analyze the essential elements to progress in a particular field.