By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated June 9, 2022 | Published January 3, 2020
Updated June 9, 2022
Published January 3, 2020
Related: Informational Interview Tips: Scheduling, Example Questions to Ask & More!
In this video, well share what an informational interview is and how informational interviews can benefit you in your current job search. Sinead will offer tips on scheduling an informational interview and how to prepare your questions (with examples!).
During the job search process, you may find a company or career that interests you. If you want to learn more about the business or what the job entails, you can ask for an informational interview. Informational interviews can help you decide if you would enjoy working for a specific company or in a certain career. In this article, well explain what an informational interview is, how to request one and provide an email template and example.
What is an informational interview?
An informational interview, also known as an informational conversation, is a meeting in which you discuss a company or a specific career with a current employee. Through questions youve compiled based on previous research, you can learn more about the organization. An informational interview is a great way to gather information on specific organizations or company roles if you are searching for a job or looking to change careers. Unlike a formal interview, an informational conversation is more informal and isnt related to a specific open role.
Related: Become a Networking Expert in 7 Steps
How to request an informational interview by email
There are a few steps to consider when requesting an informational interview. Using the right approach, this informational interview can lead to other networking opportunities or even a job. Here are some steps for requesting an informational interview via email:
- Research the company.
- Create a compelling subject line.
- Be brief.
- Include your intent for the meeting.
- Suggest flexible dates and times.
- Prepare questions for the interview.
- Follow up.
1. Research the company
Before you send your email, you should research the company and ensure you send your request to the correct person. You can review their website to gather information you can use during your interview. If youre requesting an informational interview to learn more about a specific role, make sure you have the correct email address for the employee. For informational interviews about the company, you may need to send an email to a general human resources email address. Performing some research and sending the email to the right person can help the process move quickly.
2. Create a compelling subject line
The first thing the recipient sees the subject line, so creating a concise subject can help you gain their attention and make them more likely to open your email. Consider a short subject line that includes only the necessary information, for example, Martina Rogersinformational interview request. You can include your name and the purpose of the email in just a few words.
3. Be brief
Your email should be short and straightforward. The email is to ask to meet and learn about the business or the recipients current role. You should have two to three short paragraphs that inform the recipient of the intention of the email quickly so they are more likely to read all the content.
4. Include your intent for the meeting
Since informational interviews can serve multiple purposes, it is helpful to explain why youre requesting to meet. Include if youd like to learn more about the recipients position or the company. You may offer a brief description of the questions you may ask, such as those relating to their career path, educational background or daily responsibilities. Describing your intent for the meeting can help them prepare for the interview so you both can benefit from it.
5. Suggest flexible dates and times
Suggest some options of when youd like to meet with them. After offering times, you can ask if there are any better times for them. Suggesting specific dates and times can make it easier for the recipient to check their schedules and respond appropriately.
6. Prepare questions for the interview
While you are waiting for a response, you can prepare specific questions you want to ask them. It may be a good idea to rehearse the questions so that when you are in the informational interview, it sounds more conversational. Prepare questions related to the employees career path to show them your interest in what they do. If you want to know more about the company, you can ask questions about the culture, management, departments and what leaders typically expect from employees.
Related: Informational Interview Questions
7. Follow up
If you get the informational interview, be sure to send a thank-you email. Thank them for taking the time to sit with you and answer your questions. The point of the follow-up is showing your appreciation and keeping in touch with someone who could be relevant to your future career.
Related: Guide to thank you notes
Informational interview email template
This informational interview template can serve as a guide in creating your own email:
Subject: [Your name]informational interview request
Dear [Name of recipient],
[Write how you heard about the company or recipient]. I find the work you perform incredibly interesting and would like to know more about what you do.
I would greatly appreciate learning about [insert what you want to know].
I know youre probably busy, but would you be available for an informational interview [suggest at least one date and time]? Let me know if you can meet at one of those times or if theres a better time for you.
I appreciate your time and thank you in advance.
Informational interview email example
Here is an example, including how to break up your thoughts into shorter paragraphs.
*Subject: Karen Learnerinformational interview request*
Dear Ms. Hennepin,
I recently read about Loren Corporations involvement with Dog Days Foundation, a charity that I volunteer with regularly. My name is Karen Learner, and I am reaching out to you because I would like to learn more about Loren Corporation.
As the fundraising director, Im sure you have organized many charitable events at Loren Corporation. I am currently getting my masters degree in philanthropic studies and would like to discuss what your position entails.
Would you be available for an informational interview on Sept. 12 at 3 or 3:30 p.m.? I would also be happy to meet you for lunch or coffee near your office. Please let me know if these times work or if we can find something else.