An informative interview is a maximum one hour interview that is done face to face or on the phone with someone who works at the place that you intend to work in order to get information about his job and work.
Information in books on a specific job is general information that defines the job and it may be out of date.As the information about a job from someone who works there is more correct and detailed,one of the best ways to get information on the job of your career aim is to talk to that person.This kind of communication makes a positive contribution to your career planning process.A lot of people like talking about their jobs especially if you are interested in that job.
During the interview,you may ask questions on the work environment,the qualities of the employees,how that person chose that job and job satisfaction and you may see the work environment.Thanks to the informative interview,you may understand your career field in detail.Besides,this will be a preparation for future interviews.
The most suitable person for the interview is a person who still works there or someone who has recently left the job as well as academicians who have worked in the field you are interested in.
In order to find the person that you will have an interview with and to get an appointment,you may get help from your family,friends and company representatives who have attended Gazi University career activities.In order to contact the person you wish to see,you may use the phone or e-mail or you may visit his/her company.
In order to get an appointment from the person you wish to have an informative interview with,you need to introduce yourself and convince him/her for an interview by telling him/her why you would like to have an interview.You will have limited time for this.It is a good idea to plan what you will say beforehand.
When you talk to the person for the first time,you may say the following to get an interview:
I am………….(your name) …………………………..told me about you.He/she told me to call you.I am a student at Gazi University ,department of …………………One of the career fields that I wish to work in after graduation is your field of ………………I have heard about your success at ………………………company in the department of ……………………I would like you to give me some advice.I am not looking for a job yet.I am making career plans about the future.I would be glad if you give me the chance to ask you a few questions.I am sure that there are many things that I will learn from you.May we have an interview during lunch hour if you do not mind?Or do you have half an hour for a phone conversation?’
The person that you speak to may tell you that there is no vacancy at the company as he might think that you call in order to work there.State openly that you do not ask for a job interview and that you only wish to learn about the job.Have some practice with a friend before you have this interview
What should be done for a successful informative interview
Prepare your questions before you go for the interview.Your questions should be comprehensive questions about the field in your career plan rather than questions that require short answers.You may start the interview by asking questions such as : ‘How did you start this job? Why are you interested in this job?What route did you follow to reach your career aims?’ Make the person feel that you are interested in him/her.Do not start the interview with questions such as : ‘Could you tell me about your job?’The person that you have the interview with may not know how to start answering these open-ended questions.Your questions should be more clear and easy to answer.If you do not clearly understand the answer to a question,you may ask the person to give examples.You make take notes during the interview.Make a request to look around the workplace so that you can observe what the employees wear,how they communicate with each other etc.If you have prepared your resume,keep it with you to show your background.You may ask for advice on topics such as how to improve your resume.However,you need to state that you have not brought your resume in order to find a job.Try to be talkative and friendly.
Questions related to the interviewee :
-Could you talk about your education?
-How did you start working in this field?
-Did you work in different jobs before the present one?
-What kind of problems do you face?
-How did you come to your present position?
-What is the most important factor for your doing this job?
-What are your plans about the future?
Questions related to the job :
-What do you do on a normal workday?What do you mostly do?
-What do you like most in your job?What are the best aspects of your job?
-What kind of problems do you encounter?
-What kind of knowledge and skills do you need for this job?
-What other career fields are there related to this job?
Questions related to the career field
-Could you recommend magazines or articles that give more information about this field?
-How is the work environment in this field?What do you need to do to go into a higher position?How long does this take?
-If there are other fields in this sector,what are they?
-What are the prerequisites to work in this field?
-Are there courses or certificate programs in this field that will help students?
-In which sector should I start work after graduation to become more qualified in this field?
-Is this field open to development?Is there demand for people working in this field?
-How flexible is this field for employees?Can employees express themselves?What are the working hours?Is it open to innovation?
Questions related to your career plans:
-In your opinion,how suitable am I for this field with my education,experience and character?
-How can I follow announcements related to job applications in this field?
-Can I state you as a reference in my job applications in this field?Do you have any extra advice for me?
Think of the positive and negative impressions you have learned during the informative interview.Do not forget that work environment and duties are different in different places.Do not reach a judgement of that sector solely on the thoughts of one person.In order to get more information,talk to more people working in that field.You may send thank you notes or e-mails to the people you talk to.They will be pleased to hear from you and you will make a better impression about yourself and Gazi University.You may need more information so do not forget to keep in touch with these people.
Source: Penn State University Career Guide