Be empowered to make the right choice in your profession.
Your decision should always be driven by the information you can gather and process.
Data driven decision making is not something that is limited to big organizations.
Every individual must take decisions based on reliable data to be more efficient and impactful.
For a job seeker specially, informational interview questions are key to make the right decisions.
Not just that, informational interview questions will help you visualize your role in the company better.
In this blog, you will learn everything related to informational interview questions so that you will be better prepared when the time comes.
Here is a brief summary of all the topics covered in this blog:
- What is an informational interview and why is it important
- What is the right way to ask informational interview questions
- How to get the best out of an informational interview
- Tips to ask great informational interview questions
What is an informational interview?
An informational interview is an informal conversation between a job applicant and an insider of the company or the industry.
The job applicant may or may not have the job offer confirmed and the company insider need not be working in the same company anymore.
What is the purpose of an informational interview?
The scenario could be different but the objective is the same - to get to know more about the job or the company.
A job seeker who has an offer at hand could be contemplating various professional opportunities and challenges that he or she may face at the new job.
Or, let us suppose that the applicant has more than one job offer in hand.
Whatever the case might be, informational interview questions will help the person decide whether to take the offer or decline it.
Before we move any further, let us have a look at some of the most useful informational interview questions that is applicable to all.
Sample informational interview questions:
- What is your typical day like?
- Are you expected to handle multiple responsibilities?
- Is there a remote working option?
- What measures have the company taken to ensure safety and hygiene of its employees?
- Would you mind telling me the best thing about working here, according to you?
- What are some of the challenges that you have faced or still face?
- Is it safe for women to work here?
- How do you balance your work and personal life?
- Are you allowed to take your own decisions at work?
- What do you not like about your job and would like to change?
- What are the perks and incentives of working here?
- Is the work culture inclusive?
- What are you most passionate about working here?
- What are your academic qualifications?
- What was your professional background before joining here?
- What are the opportunities that this job offers?
- How do you foresee your professional career vis-a-vis your current job?
- What are some of the things that you wish you knew before joining?
- What are some of the most sought after skill set for this job?
- What is the skill gap that the company is trying to fill?
- Is the work monotonous or dynamic every day?
- What do the customers value most in this company?
- What is the attrition rate of the company?
- What additional courses can help me in this job?
- What do you consider as your biggest asset in terms of this job?
- Can you summarize everything in a nutshell?
Tips on how to ask good informational interview questions
While asking informational interview questions, it is important to have a friendly chat and does not sound like you are interrogating the person for the wrong reasons.
Make sure that the interviewee feels comfortable and that you are very interested to know the person.
You should not come across as asking endless questions or annoy the person.
Your tone must be that of gratitude and not demanding.
Sometimes even if it is not the case, people tend to come across as rude and entitled.
Seek permission before you ask and duly thank them for the valuable inputs.
Be smart and rephrase the questions contextually.
What does it mean?
It means to maintain a flow of conversation instead of asking questions one after another.
Try to have a seamless conversation and keep it lighthearted.
But be sure to ask all the questions you need to and do not hesitate.
The more data you have, the better decision you can make.
During the course of the interview, the conversation might steer towards other topics but ensure that you bring it back to the informational interview questions.
Seek reliable answers to informational interview questions
When asking informational interview questions, it is also important to consider whom you are asking these questions.
Always remember to ask informational interview questions to someone whom YOU trust or someone what has a considerable repute in the field.
Why, you ask?
Well, the information that you receive is from a trusted source and that you can rely upon the data.
If the answers that you receive for the informational interview questions are such that it does not necessarily reflect your own observations, then the entire process will be redundant.
Hence it is important to ask the right questions to the right person.
Image courtesy: veooz.com
Contextual informational interview questions
While asking informational interview questions, we should bear in mind that relevant information is exponentially more important than the sheer number of questions.
What are you going to do with information that you don’t ever need?
It is just a heap of data but that is redundant.
Carefully avoid this by asking unnecessary informational interview questions.
However, the more relevant informational interview questions you ask, the better it is.
How do you even know which informational interview questions are relevant?
Here is the thing -
Avoid asking the same questions which can easily find answers to, online or elsewhere.
When you are sitting down for a conversation with the industry expert or a company insider, you have to make sure that you are extracting the best of that person.
Meaning - Ask questions which only that person can answer.
You can easily ask questions related to annual leaves or other company policies to the company’s human resource professional.
However, on an informal note, to get a perception of actual work on a daily basis, an informational interview is your best opportunity to ask and clarify.
This is the long and short of it -
Do your research before an informational interview.
It is always desirable if you are already familiar with the industry as much as possible.
You could say asking questions too is an art. Why not?
How to ask great informational interview questions?
You might be wondering, are there any great informational interview questions?
Great tips to ask great informational interview questions
- Make a list of top 10 informational interview questions to ask
- Remember to ask informational questions not just limited to the job or the company but the industry you are entering into. For example: You can ask informational interview questions broadly related to law, accounting, finance etc.
- Curate your informational interview questions depending on the platform you are utilizing. For example: If you are attending an in-person informational interview, your approach should be different in comparison to an informational interview over the phone or email.
- Be mindful of the person whom you are interviewing and ask the informational interview questions accordingly. For example: If the person whom you are interviewing may be your equal or superior in terms of professional experience.
- Remember, you can also ask informal interview questions during or after the interview. So you ask the questions to ask during an informal interview to your employer as well.
Hiration’s Interview Preparation Guide
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- 20,000+ questions - with sample answers
- An overview/objective of each question
- Know what the interviewer is expecting
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- Search for specific questions, key strengths, focus areas...you name it!
- Link to additional information for that job and question!
All the features mentioned above are available on our platform to make sure that every applicant stands out as the best candidate to go ahead in their career.
Make the best use of Hiration’s interview preparation guide and give yourself the chance to outshine any other average applicant.
In closing, let us summarize what we have learned so far:
- What are informational interview questions and how to ask them
- Sample informational interview questions
- What are the good informational interview questions and how to frame them
- Whom to approach while asking informational interview questions
- Tips to ask the most relevant informational interview questions
- Tips to avoid asking irrelevant informational interview questions
Last but not the least, we are aware of Hiration’s potential to help job seekers around the world.
You can always reach out to us for any further help.
We hope that this information was thorough and helpful to you. We would love to hear your thoughts on this and if required, we are willing to help you better.
If you would like to get in touch with one of our experts, you can write to us at email@example.com and we will get back to you at the earliest.