If done well, meeting face-to-face
with a worker will give you high-quality information
about that occupation. The job comes alive. And, you
are able to ask specific questions, to probe in depth.
Information interviewing can
be organized into eight steps:
- Learn as much as
you can about the job in the Occupational
- Develop a list of
people you might contact with the help of family and
friends. These are people who have first-hand knowledge
of the job, or people who can give you the names of
people who do know about it.
- Send a short, personal
letter to the person you choose (a) telling them what
you want to learn, (b) requesting an appointment, and
(c) indicating that you will call to set up a meeting
- Make the call to
set up the appointment.
- Prepare for your
meeting by clarifying in your mind what you want to
learn. Write down a list
of questions you want to ask.
- Conduct the interview
-- arrive on time, dress appropriately, ask open-ended
questions, listen carefully, make brief notes, do not
overstay your visit and, at the end, ask for the names
of others you might contact for more information.
- Write a brief thank
you note, mentioning something from your visit.
- Review what you
learned. For example, do you need more information?
How does this job fit you?