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Informational Interviews

Essay by   •  July 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,053 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,951 Views

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An effective technique job seekers can use to research whether a job and/or career field meets their expectations is through informational interviews. Information interviews are similar to job interviews with the exception that the job seeker meets with an employer to obtain career and industry advice rather than employment. Furthermore, information interviews allow job seekers to gain employment leads and expand their professional network. Unlike job interviews, the job seeker is responsible for preparing and initiating the questions asked during the interview.

One mistake that commonly occurs in today's workforce is that many people decide on a career path without taking the time to speak with professionals who can familiarize them with their field of interest. The information gained through an information interview can assist an individual in deciding whether or not a specific field will satisfy their employment needs and expectations. Many of the people who fail to research and familiarize themselves about the career field they pursue enter the workforce only to discover that the skills, values, interests, and abilities that they possess do not match the field they are working in. Information interviews are beneficial because they allow job seekers to conduct a screening process before accepting a position and/or entering a career field ("Quintessential Careers").

Since I am sales associate working toward a career in business management through the company I work for, the best person I could conduct an information interview with would be my store manager. My manager would be one of the best professionals I could conduct an interview with primarily because he is working in the position with our company that I am working toward. His ten years of experience in this position would provide me with the best insight about this position (field). Since we work together on a regular basis it would be easier to arrange an interview--possibly during lunch, down time in the store, or whatever time is most convenient for him.

The following are some of the questions I would ask my manager during an information interview: (I would limit my questions to about 10-15 questions if my manager only had a short time to conduct the interview with me)

* Can you describe a typical day as store manager?

* What are your essential duties, functions, and responsibilities as store manager?

* What types of challenges do you face as store manager?

* What kinds of decisions are you responsible to make as store manager?

* How did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?

* How did you get your job?

* Can you suggest some ways a sales associate could obtain the necessary experience for this position?

* What are the most important personal satisfactions and dissatisfactions connected with your occupation? What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying?

* What are the benefits and disadvantages of working in this industry?

* What other types of jobs are there with this company?

* Why did you decide to work for this company?

* What do you like most about this company?

* How does your company differ from its competitors?

* Are you optimistic about the company's future and your future with the company?

* What does the company do to contribute to its employees' professional development?

* What were the key elements to your career advancement? How did you get where you are today and

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