“Networking is essential. It’s a small world and you never know when you are going to be working with someone down the line. And who knows if someone below you in rank could someday be your boss?”
Sydney Lowe '98
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- Informational Interviews
How do I find out about specific careers and jobs before I jump into the field?
Informational interviewing and internships are two great ways to gather first-hand information about various careers. Informational interviews allow you the opportunity to:
- Expand your knowledge of the job or career you have been considering
- Create a network of contacts
- Improve your confidence and interview skills
Five Steps to the Informational Interview:
1. Identify people in the field to interview
- Ask people you know: Friends and relatives, fellow students, professors and family contacts.
- Ask professionals: Curry faculty and administrators, internship supervisors, current and former employers and department heads.
- Search publications: People listed in directories of companies and associations, company web pages, journals and newsletters specific to your field of interest.
2. Contact professionals for interviews
- Call, email or write. Be sure to follow up a letter or email with a phone call.
- Explain who you are, why you are contacting them and how you got their name. You should clearly state that you are only seeking information (do not ask for a job), how long you would like to meet (generally 20-30 minutes) and give your contact information.
3. Prepare for the interview
- Research the person's field and organization so that you can have an intelligent conversation when you meet. View the organization's website, read general information about the industry or speak with others that work in the field.
- Prepare a list of questions to be used as a guide during the interview. Remember, it is up to you to structure the meeting and the questions you ask should steer the conversation.
4. During the interview
- Arrive on time; be enthusiastic, well prepared and professionally dressed (PDF).
- Restate why you have requested the meeting. Thank them again for agreeing to take the time to meet with you. Do NOT ask for a job - make it clear that you are gathering information on which to base future career decisions.
- Take the lead. Use the questions that you prepared. Most people will enjoy sharing their experience, advice and guidance.
- Keep to the time table you agreed upon previously. Ask for a business card before you leave.
5. After the interview
- Take a few moments to jot down some notes including the name of the contact, date, information you gathered, your general feeling about the occupation, new facts/understandings, etc.
- Write and send a Thank You Letter (PDF) within 24 hours.
As always, if you have questions about this process or if you would like to do a mock interview please contact us at (617) 333-2195 or email@example.com.
Connect with Us!
The Center for Career Development invited 'Inside Higher Ed' blogger and social media expert Eric Stoller to be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Curry College Senior Conference. Stoller's task? To impart valuable career advice to Curry students regarding the use (and misuse) of social media.