How to Prep for an Informational Interview

Research. Once you have a target for who to have an informational interview with, research your person. Cull talking points from LinkedIn and social media, such as details about their current position, prior experience, and professional memberships. See if you can discover how they spend their time and what hobbies they enjoy.

Be prepared. Now that you know a bit more about this person, write down specific questions that target the information you need. What did they learn most from their first job? What recommendations do they have for someone in your position? Write down your favorite questions and talking points and have them ready for your meeting.

Respect their time. Offer to bring them a coffee or meet them near their office. Most people are busy during the work week, and they may not be able to step away. Suggest some times that might work and follow up with a meeting invite to keep it as easy as possible for them.

Be Curious. Your goal is to get them to like you. When you meet, ask them thoughtful questions. A general, “So… what do you do?” isn’t going to cut it. People hate meetings with prospective employees or connections who haven’t done their research. Ask a question you couldn’t answer using LinkedIn.

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