An inside look at the must-do’s before, during and after an informational interview to leave a great impression.

We recently got you up to speed on informational interviews: What they are, why they’re done and how they’re done (and why they’re pretty much the opposite of any exchange involving Taylor Swift).

We talked about how an informational interview’s primary goal is not to get a job offer, but to explore potential career paths or industries, expand your network or find out what it’s really like to be Taylor Swift’s backup singer be in a particular role or at a particular company. It’s essentially face-to-face information-gathering, and it can be a very valuable tool in your job search.

So now, let’s delve into the before, during and after must-do’s of an informational interview.


  • First, identify potential contacts – people who have jobs you find intriguing and inspiring. Be resourceful. Scour the Internet, filter through your social networks, and check out trade or business publications and newsletters. Look up leaders of local industry or business associations that you admire. Tell your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, former teachers and classmates about your informational interview and ask them for suggestions of people you should reach out to. More often than not, people are willing to help if you simply ask!
  • Reach out appropriately. As you develop your list of potential contacts, reach out to each person through a brief introductory letter, email or phone call explaining your background, career goals, interests and what you hope to gain from the meeting.

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