Informational interview

The staff responsible for evaluating and interviewing new workers is becoming more demanding. They prepare many tests with convoluted and easy questions that let to know more about the interviewee. Exist many types of interviews; each one is different from the others. If you are training for an interview, revise and follow some advices and tips.

Informational interview

All the interviews will give you the opportunity to express your comments about your last job, last tasks, some accomplishments obtained in your previous job or maybe it would be necessary to give some general impressions. The interviewee should have care during his/her answers or comments, because it could go against of the final score.

Something very particular about some interviews is that the interviewer is not the one who directs the questions, but he gives chance to speak and make questions to the interviewees. So, the applicants should be well prepared to ask and answer, it could be a great way to increase his/her points and get a high score in the interview.

What is an informational interview?

Informational interviews can be a useful tool throughout your career, not just when you want to change of job or get into a new line of profession. You can do an informational interview when you want to get involved in a new project. This type of interview also involves to talking with workers who are currently working in the field to gain a better understanding of an occupation.

In fact, an informational interview is more relaxed than a regular job interview because some questions are different, the job-seeker may ask for particular things he/she wouldn't ask in a normal job interview (salary, benefits, vacations, day-to-day activities, etc.). Another important reason why job-seekers appreciate these interviews is because they can build self-confidence in a non-threatening interview atmosphere. A job-seeker will not ask you for a job (this would be considered rude) but would consider you the first contact in a constant-growing network.

There is a universe of questions to be asked from someone who is interested in getting a job, so be ready to hear all type of functional questions: What´s your background? What do you enjoy most of your career? How many hours do you work? But when it comes to occupational questions, the following can give you a good idea of what to expect:

  • What is exactly your position in the company?
  • What do you usually do?
  • What skills do you require to accomplish your daily work?
  • What degree of education do employers look for?
  • What courses from university/college are more valuable for you and why?
  • What opportunities of growing are there for someone in that position?
  • What are the best pieces of information to include in a CV when looking for a job?
  • Besides that specific occupation what other fields are there available?
  • What are the salary ranges?
  • What are the most remarkable personality characteristics that employers look for?
  • What obstacles, stressing situations and demands are found in this occupation?
  • How can you determine you have the skills to succeed in this position?
  • What recommendations would you give him/her?
  • What would be the best way to look for a job?
  • Is there anyone else you would suggest he/she talks to?

The following list shows the typical questions that the interviewers ask, practice with that, and elaborate a short answer for each question.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you know about our organization?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What can you do for us that someone else can't?
  • What do you find most attractive about this position?
  • What do you look for in a job?
  • How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm?
  • How long would you stay with us?
  • What is your management style?
  • Have you ever had to fire people?
  • What were the reasons, and how did you handle the situation?
  • What do you think is the most difficult thing about being a manager or executive?
  • What important trends do you see in our industry?
  • How do you feel about leaving all your benefits to find a new job?
  • What do you think of your boss?
  • Why aren't you earning more at your age?

Some informational interview tips

If the interviewees are not trained to make a good interview, it could be fatal. for that, it is necessary and important to strengthen the preparation and the knowledge. If you will go to an interview for a job, take time to practice and improve your interview skills, just so, you will be ready for an interview and will avoid a disaster.

Tips to face different types of interviews:

  • Even though the interview atmosphere is not as formal as a regular interview the dressing is formal.
  • When you begin to answer the questions, speak loudly and clearly.
  • Learn the name of the job-seeker and welcome him/her as if expecting him/her. (It will help you to create an appropriate atmosphere.)
  • Expect the job-seeker to lead the questioning.
  • If you have been called for an interview, never go for a job interview without knowing information about the line of business of the company.
  • The time is primordial, for that, be on time for the interview.
  • When the interviewer makes the questions, take a breath and starts to respond with calm and quiet.
  • If the interviewer asks some stressful questions, you never show annoyed, you should be ready to answer this type of questions.
  • Never speak ill of your last boss or your last job.
  • This is a good chance for you to express your feelings and talk about your personal experiences about your job, position and career so enjoy it!

Remember that the continuous practice will improve your skills, just follow all or part of these recommendations and you will make an excellent interview and will give a good impression to the interviewers.