Goal: Familiarize your students with the concept of conducting informational interviews, and help them bolster their confidence and ability to conduct these interviews on their own.
Ask students to think about a faculty member whom they find particularly interesting and would like to know more about. Students will conduct an informational interview—they can choose to work in pairs or teams—to learn more about this faculty member’s interests and career. They should write down ten questions to ask and visit the instructor during office hours to conduct an interview. Have students make a presentation about what they learned.
Discussion Questions (Optional):
1. How did you prepare for your interview? How might you prepare differently for a professional in your ideal career?
2. What factors went into choosing a faculty member to interview? How did they react to being asked for an interview?
3. How might you go about asking for an informational interview from someone outside of your school? How would you find a suitable person to interview?
4. How did you feel during the interview? Was the environment open, casual, engaging? How might you ensure that future interviews are set in this sort of environment?
5. How might you prepare for or conduct an interview differently, knowing what you know now? Do you feel more prepared or more likely to seek out informational interviews in the future?
Source: John N. Gardner and Betsy O. Barefoot, Step by Step to College and Career Success, Eighth Edition, Instructor's Resource Manual.