The purpose of this assignment is to practice interviewing and listening skills through an informational interview with a professional. An informational interview involves talking with people (and asking them predetermined career related questions) who are currently working in the field to gain a better understanding of an occupation or industry — and to build a network of contacts in that field.
In this assignment you will do four things:
1. Create a professional email and send it to individuals you have identified to request an informational interview as part of your course studies (use letter writing concepts similar to a cover letter). You will need to submit in the dropbox one email including the reply from the person you will be interviewing who accepted your invitation. This email with the reply must be uploaded in the dropbox as a separate pdf file.
2. Interview one professional in person or via video call (ask about 5-6 questions, 20 minutes)
3. Write a brief reflective essay about the information you learned (1-2 pages of content not including the appendix list of questions, single spaced, 12-point font)
4. Create a professional “thank you” email and send it to the individual you met with as a sincere expression of gratitude (use letter writing concepts similar to a cover letters). The actual “thank you” email you sent (and if the person replied include that too) must be uploaded in the dropbox as a separate pdf file.
The person you choose to interview may not be someone with whom you already have an established relationship. They must be someone new to you, otherwise you are playing it safe and not expanding your professional network. Do not seek an interviewee who is a family member or personal friend. You may conduct a face-to-face interview (best) or in a Skype/video interview. As a last resort you may interview over the phone but you will lose points for a phone interview. You may not “interview” via email.
Narrative Essay
You will write a brief reflective essay as a narrative of your experience highlighting one or two key points that you found interesting as it relates to your consideration of this industry or job. The content of your essay will summarize and reflect upon your findings from the interview. Essays will be 1-2 pages (not including the appendix – your list of questions), single-spaced, 12-point font size with an introduction, body, conclusion, and an appendix. Your paper should contain:
• name of your informational interviewee
• their job title/position and the company they work for
• a brief description of his/her job or career field
• the reason why you chose to interview this person
• how you met and made the contact with this individual.
• Summary of the significant information you gained from your interviewee o What did you learn (include both positive and negative impressions)?
• Reflect on one or two items you learned /discovered from the informational interview
o How does this information fit or not fit your own interests, abilities, goals, values, skills etc.?
• Reflect on how the information you learned pertains to you, your future, and career interests o What do you still need to know about this industry/job? o What is one thing you will do as part of your career plan of action based on the information your learned in the informational interview?
• Closing remarks and additional positive outcomes from your interview (e.g. did you get the name of another networking contact, did they offer to assist you in your job search, send you job postings, or offer to review your résumé)
• The impact this interview had on your career plan and pursuits Appendix:
• Include a list of questions you asked at the informational interview (not the answers, just questions)
Be sure to apply the concepts that we discussed in class when preparing your documents (read the
“Preparing for your Informational Interview” document on DC Connect and be sure to take the 60-minute tutorial). Also, make sure that you review the rubric carefully (next page), so you have a clear understanding of how your work will be assessed.