Informational Interviews

An informational interview is a brief meeting with a professional currently working in your field of interest. The purpose of an informational interview is not to get a job, but to gain insight. It’s an opportunity for you to get an insider’s perspective on an industry and better understand that person’s position.

DePaul’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge program offers students the opportunity to connect with DePaul alumni in order to make connections that can foster professional growth. To set up an informational interview with ASK, visit the Mentoring section on Handshake and search for mentors in your field of interest.

Dan Kesselring, an active ASK mentor, offers the following tips for a successful informational interview:

Before the Meeting:

  • Confirm the meeting with an email. In the email, attach a resume (if appropriate), confirm the date, time, and location, request directions if necessary, and restate your meeting objective.
  • Prepare an agenda and questions. What do you want to find out from this person?

During the Meeting:

  • Be prepared to start the conversation. Check out the sample networking questions.
  • Establish your “brand”. Be ready to explain who you are and what you’re all about.
  • Restate why you’re there, ask questions, and LISTEN.
  • Ask for names of others who might also be helpful to you.
  • Take brief notes, but don’t be distracted so much by taking notes that you’re not listening.
  • Get a business card so you have all the correct contact information.

After the Meeting:

  • Debrief yourself. Elaborate on the notes you took at the meeting.
  • Send a thank you note.
  • Follow-up with any referrals the person provided.
  • Send periodic updates on your status. This is known as “nurturing your network”.