What’s An Informational Interview?

December 5, 2011

As we continue to post success stories from NIH alumni in our “NIH Alumni: Where are they now?” series, readers of this blog have seen and will continue to see the term, “informational interview.”  While aptly named, many readers may be asking:  What is an informational interview?  How do I set one up?  What type of questions should I ask?  What, besides information, should I expect to get out of an informational interview?

First you should understand the purpose of an informational interview.  It is to gain information, not a job.  You are asking a person who works in a field, a position or a company of interest to you about their job and career path.  The interview is not about you and your aspirations.  It is about the person you are interviewing.  However, a successful informational interview will build your knowledge base and your network by at least one person. 

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