9 answers

What are three informational interview questions should I ask?

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9 answers

Cole’s Answer


First, I would advise you to consider your values. What are you looking for in a future career? What kind of work environment are you hoping to be in? The most important thing to remember when applying for jobs is that job interviews are also your chance to interview your employer to see if they are the right fit for you.

As an accountant for a large firm, many of the standard questions didn't work for me. It's hard to describe what a day-to-day is like because there is no standard day. It's also difficult to understand company culture through explanation. In my field, the job responsibilities are fairly standard across many firms. More important to me is the people and their philosophies about work, so some of my questions when going through the process were:

  • What development opportunities exist for the firm, and how does your firm invest in its employees' growth?
  • What are most employees' philosophies about work-life balance? Do staff like to do social activities together after work and are there any philanthropic causes the staff commit time to? (This is also an important question for you to consider. How separate do you want your work to be from your personal life?)
  • What is the company's structure for feedback?
  • Other big picture questions, like how your role fits into the client service model or the company's vision.

Cole recommends the following next steps:

  • Determine your values and needs from companies you will potentially work for.

Qing’s Answer

Hi Kiana,
I would suggest you ask the questions you care the most. I don't think there's right or wrong questions. It's important to be authentic and ask the questions that matter to you as long as they're respectful and reasonable. Personally, I would ask questions about the company culture because company culture varies drastically, and it has a huge impact to your career satisfaction.

William’s Answer


Hello Kiana,

One question that I always like to ask is, "How does your company/firm/etc. give back to the community?" or "Does your company/firm/etc. have community outreach activities?".

It not only helps you discover more about the potential employer's culture, but also shows that you care about giving back to whatever community you are apart of (if that is important to you).

Richard’s Answer


What the working environment is like

What the promotional structure looks like

What they value in employees.

Joe’s Answer

The best way to think about the types of questions to ask in an informational interview is to focus on what you truly would like to learn. Try to avoid asking questions for the sake of knowing you are "supposed" to have questions in that type of setting. I tend to think the same approach applies for an informational interview as well as a situational interview. Focusing on how you would fit into the culture of the company and roles you could play or would be playing and how that matches you and your passions is the way to create your questions. Ultimately you want to walk away from the conversation having a great feel for the company or person you just met with and specifically why you want to be there or not.

Grace’s Answer

Hi Kiana!

When prepping for an interview, I always suggest to students that you prepare questions for which you really are interested in hearing the answer. Ask the questions you want to ask, not the questions you think you SHOULD ask! It is always apparent to an interviewer when you are actually interested in the answer (rather than checking a box by asking the question).

If you're struggling to think of questions, try thinking in these general areas: mentorship structure, training opportunities, work-life balance, how they are using certain technologies.

Good luck!

Ginger’s Answer


Recruiters and hiring managers are hiring you for productivity. The best question and sometimes I will ask the same question in different ways. The question is, "What value add are you looking for on the first day of a new employee?" The interviewer's answer will provide you with important clues on their expectations and management style. Other informational questions that will help you decide if it is a good fit for you include, what types of research or training should you pursue to help you serve your customers best and, what is the most appreciated quality that will help you contribute to the needs of the organization .

Ginger recommends the following next steps:

  • Find someone to practice interviewing with so you are at ease during the actual interview.

Sirisha’s Answer


What's the office culture like?

What are the expectations for this role?

What's the work/life balance like?

Angela’s Answer


I would ask:

  1. What is a typical day like for the position you are applying for
  2. Ask the interviewer what keeps them at the company; but first ask them how long they have been with the company. - If they answer negatively, run! If they answer positively, then ask;
  3. Are there opportunities for growth within the company. This shows the interviewer you are interested in being with the company for a while, and would be a person to seriously consider for the position.

Good Luck!