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48 Actually Useful Informational Interview Questions

Questions that will give you insight into what might be your dream career

Women having an informational interview illustration

You’ve landed the informational interview. But what do you talk about once you’re actually face to face over coffee? We’ve got you covered. While you won’t be able to ask all of them in an informational interview, the answers to these questions will give you insight into your mentor’s career path, the possibilities for your future, and the industry outlook.

  1. How did you get into this field?

  2. Did you consider any other career paths before deciding on this one?

  3. Did you go to college? Why or why not?

  4. Did your college experience affect your current career?

  5. Did you have any internships in college?

  6. What does your average day look like?

  7. Who do you depend on daily?

  8. Who depends on you?

  9. What kind of problems do you solve on a day-to-day basis?

  10. Why do you like doing what you do?

  11. What is the most fun part of your role?

  12. What are your biggest day-to-day challenges?

  13. What are some of the projects you’ve been working on lately?

  14. What aspect of your position surprised you when you started?

  15. What are some unexpected skills that your position requires?

  16. Do you have any advice for someone my age looking to do what you do?

  17. Do you have any mentors that have helped shape your career?

  18. Would you describe the mentoring relationship as formal or informal?

  19. What was your first job in this industry?

  20. Are there skills you learned there that you still use?

  21. If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently?

  22. Have you been a part of the hiring process?

  23. What are the biggest resume red flags?

  24. What are you looking for on resumes?

  25. What’s the difference in what you’re looking for on a resume and what you look for during interviews?

  26. If I send you my resume, would you mind taking a quick look at it?

  27. How can I get started gaining experience?

  28. What skills should I be honing now to prepare for this career path?

  29. Are there any soft skills I should focus on?

  30. What is a typical entry-level title?

  31. What does that role generally consist of?

  32. Would you recommend any particular keywords to include on my resume or portfolio?

  33. Is there specific work experience or are there portfolio pieces I should be working on now?

  34. What makes your company different from its?

  35. Can you give me a quick breakdown of what each department here does?

  36. How would you describe the mission of your company?

  37. Does your company generally hire from within?

  38. Would you recommend I speak to anyone else here to learn about this field?

  39. Do you mind my asking about the salary range of jobs in this field?

  40. Would you say that our city has a lot of employment opportunities in this field? If so, what companies should be on my radar? 

  41. How have challenges changed since you got started in this industry?

  42. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in this industry?

  43. What are some of the long-term trends you expect from your industry?

  44. What big industry changes do you expect in the next few years?

  45. Is it okay if we stay in touch?

  46. Can I add you to my LinkedIn network?

  47. What advice do you have for me as a young professional? 

  48. Are there any questions I haven’t asked that I should?

Read more: How to Answer 4 Common Situational Interview Questions

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By Brandi Dye

Contributor

Brandi Dye is a Las Vegas–based writer and true lover of words. When she's not writing, you can find her cooking...or refreshing Twitter.

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