The key to a successful informational interview or networking opportunity is preparation.

Below, you'll find some questions to help you brainstorm what you want to talk about.

Job questions

  • Why did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
  • What jobs and experiences have led you to your present position?
  • What are the responsibilities in your job? What does a typical day or week look like for you? What percentage of your time is spent on which responsibilities?
  • What kinds of problems do you deal with? What kinds of decisions do you make?
  • What knowledge, skills, abilities, and other qualifications are desirable for this job?
  • What do you view as the critical skills for a position in this field?
  • What is your favorite and least favorite element of your job?

Career field questions

  • What are typical entry-level jobs in this field?
  • What is the typical pattern of career development in this field?
  • What are the trends and hot issues in this field? What journals or web sites do you read to keep up with trends and developments in your field?

Lifestyle questions

  • What obligations does your work place upon you, outside of the ordinary workweek? What are your working hours like?
  • How often do people in this field change jobs?
  • How much flexibility do you have in terms of dress, schedule, vacation, etc.?

Career preparation advice

  • How did UVM prepare you for this work? What kind of background is necessary to enter this field?
  • How can I acquire the required skills? Are there courses, or experiences, paid or otherwise, which you would recommend?
  • If you were to hire someone to work with you today, what factors would be most important in your hiring decision and why?
  • Is a graduate degree recommended? Are there specific programs that are valued in this field?
  • What other related types of work should I consider and research?

Job search advice

  • Given my education and experience, would I be a competitive candidate for entry-level positions in this field?
  • How do you suggest that I break into this field?
  • How can I identify both advertised and unadvertised vacancies in this field?
  • Can you suggest anyone else whom I can contact for additional information? May I use your name when I contact them?

Resume review questions

  • Is this an appropriate resume for the jobs I will be seeking? 
  • If an employer received this resume, how do you think she or he would react to it?
  • How might I best improve the form and content of my resume?