Social Science Career ServicesWestern Social Science

Informational Interviewing



Get Started - Identify individuals to informational interview

Contact by Telephone-Example:

Hello.  My name is Jane Wilson and I am a 3rd year Urban Development student at UWO.  I heard you speak at an event sponsored by the Geography student association last semester.  Although I am not looking for a job, I have become very interested in Urban Development and would like to find out as much as I can about the field.  Would it be possible to schedule 20-30 minutes with you at your convenience for an informational interview to ask you a few questions and to get your advice on how best to prepare to enter the field?

Contact through Email-Example:

To: Jane Doe
From: Bill Smith
Subject: Informational Interview
Date: February 9th, 2014

Dear Ms. Doe,

I am a 3rd year student majoring in Urban Development at The University of Western Ontario and was given your number by a friend of my family, Roberta Jones.

Although I am not currently looking for a job, I am very interested in learning all I can about typical career paths in the field of Urban Development and what skills I might need to develop during my last year at UWO. I would greatly appreciate 20‐30 minutes of your time to ask you a few questions about your position with the City of London, as well as other opportunities in the field.

Thank you for your consideration. I will contact you next week and if you are able, we can arrange a convenient time to meet.


Jane Doe

How to prepare/at the interview

  • How did you get started in your career?
  • What qualifications do you have?
  • How would someone get started in the field now?
  • What experiences have helped you most?
  • Do you know anyone else that might be helpful for me to speak with?
  • What experience or preparation would you recommend?
  • What job titles are common in this field?
  • What are alternative career paths related to this field?
  • What professional organizations do you belong to?

Follow up

Written Thank You Letter-Example:

Dear Mr. Smith,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to informational interview with you on December 12, 2013. I really appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the Urban Development field and how your multitude of experiences has been an asset in your current role as Department Manager at ABC Company.

Thank you again for your time.


Mary Smith