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Sample Questions

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask in an information interview:
About the work environment
How would you describe the working atmosphere and the people with whom you work?
What can you tell me about the corporate culture?
Is most of your work accomplished in teams or individually?
What is employee morale like here?
What social obligations go along with a job in your occupation?
What is the dress code?
Describe your supervisor's management style
What are the hours of work?
Tell me about office space
About the company
What is the average salary range for an entry level position in this field?
What are the various jobs in this organization?
What do you like most about this company?
How does your company differ from its competitors?
Why do customers choose this company?
Are you optimistic about the company's future and your future with the company?
How does the company make use of technology for internal communication and outside marketing?
What is a typical career path in this organization?
What is the average length of time for an employee to stay in the job you hold?
Are there incentives or disincentives for staying in the same job?
What obligations does your employer place on you outside of the ordinary work week?
What are the typical entry-level job titles and functions?
Who is the department head or supervisor for this job?
Where do you and your supervisor fit into the organizational structure?
Why did you decide to work for this company?
About the field
What are the opportunities for growth in this area?
What do you like most about this field?
What do you like least?
How do you spend your time on a daily/weekly basis?
What types of challenges do you encounter?
How can I prepare to enter the field?
Any publications I should read or associations you would recommend joining?
What personal attributes do you think are essential for success?
What skills are required for success in this position?
What do you consider to be the key trends in the field right now?
What are the various jobs in this field?
What sorts of changes are occurring in your occupation?
How does a person progress in your field?
What work-related values are strongest in this type of work (security, high income, variety, independence)?
How is the economy affecting this industry?
What can you tell me about the employment outlook in your occupational field?
How much demand is there for people in this occupation?
What are the major rewards aside from extrinsic rewards such as money, fringe benefits, travel, etc.?
From your perspective, what are the problems you see working in this field?
How important are grades/GPA for obtaining a job in this field?
What entry level jobs are best for learning as much as possible?
What kinds of experience, paid or unpaid, would you encourage for anybody pursuing a career in this field?
Can you suggest some ways a student could obtain this necessary experience?
About the person
1. How did you get started in this field?
2. What advice would you give to a newcomer?
3. Would you be able to give me the name of someone else who would be willing to give me information?
4. Do you know any companies that hire recent graduates?
5. Do you know of any current openings that would be appropriate for a person with my background?
6. If you had to do it over, would you stay in the same industry?
7. Where do you see yourself in five years?
8. How did you get your job?
9. What jobs and experiences have led you to your present position?
10. What are the most important personal satisfactions and dissatisfactions connected with your occupation?
11. What things did you do before you entered this occupation?
12. Do you find your job exciting or boring? Why?
13. What were the keys to your career advancement?
14. How did you get where you are and what are your long-range goals?
15. How has your job affected your lifestyle?
16. Does your work relate to any experiences or studies you had in university?
17. What courses have proved to be the most valuable to you in your work?
18. How did you prepare for this work?
19. If you were entering this career today, would you change your preparation in any way to facilitate entry?
20. What special advice do you have for a student seeking to qualify for this position?
21. Do you have any special word of warning or encouragement as a result of your experience?
22. How would you assess the experience I've had so far in terms of entering this field?
23. How did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
24. [If you feel comfortable and it seems appropriate:] Would you mind taking a look at my resume?
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