Sample Questions for Informational Interviews

The beauty of being on the right career path (image: perseverando)

By: Grayson Leverenz

I’ve gotten several requests recently for sample questions for conducting Informational Interviews; so I thought I’d make a post out of it.

Here are 14 potential questions to ask alumni, fellow students and other contacts in an informational interview. Keep in mind that 14 questions would allocate about 2 minutes per question for a standard 30 minute informational. If the person you’re talking to answers longer than the two minutes, you will want to choose a smaller number of questions based on importance to you. That will ensure you are getting the answers you need while keeping within the scheduled 30 minute time frame.

These questions are from my Marketing career search, and highlight areas important to me (e.g. sustainability and international opportunities). The general questions can be adapted to any field while the specific questions will give you a good idea of the how to include your values in the discussion.

  1. What attracts you to marketing and brand management in particular?
  2. Career path before MBA?
  3. What brought you to (insert current company)?
  4. What are your responsibilities?
  5. Examples of projects?
  6. How big is the marketing department?
  7. Training and mentoring within the organization?
  8. Career path of marketing exec?
  9. Favorite and least favorite part of working for (insert current company)?
  10. International marketing opportunities?
  11. Do you get to feel the sustainability focus?  Triple bottom line…
  12. Recommendation for classes?
  13. Best career development advice?
  14. Anyone else you think I should talk to?

Like we talked about in the conducting a successful informational interview post, question 14 is the most important one of the lot. It shows respect for the person you’re interviewing, and helps build your network.

Good luck!

Author: Grayson Leverenz

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA® to help international students build networks, find jobs, and have fun in the USA. Hundreds of global professionals have benefited from Grayson’s intercultural workshops, and she has worked with people from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to build effective virtual teams and craft brilliant careers.

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  1. Three-Step Process for Successful Informational Interviews | MBA in the USA - Cultural consulting by Grayson Leverenz - [...] Step Two: Choose relevant, interesting questions to guide for conversation. [...]

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