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Networking / Informational Interviewing

What is Informational Interviewing?

Informational interviewing is speaking with professionals, who are currently working in a career, industry or environment that interests you.  It's simply a means of having a conversation to determine if that career would be a good match based on your values, skills, interests and abilities.  Generally, informational interviewing is a good option for students who are exploring majors and career paths, new graduates seeking information about specific careers or career changers.

Informational Interviewing (pdf)

What is Networking?

Networking is a way in which professionals share information with others, usually within a similar occupation.  It may be done through informal channels such as speaking with friends or neighbors, through professional associations or social networking websites.  Networking is a way to find out about trends in the field, "best practices" or to discover possible employment opportunities.  Generally, networking is conducted with people already working in a given career field, but is is also useful for new graduates and people changing careers.  Networking is usually the common phrase for all aspects of connecting with others about career-related issues.

Networking (pdf)

The Benefits of Informational Interviewing / Networking

  • Explore different career paths to assist you in your academic and career planning
  • Find out about the skills, qualifications and education you need to pursue specific fields
  • Learn about internship and job opportunities
  • Expand your professional network
  • Improve your interview skills

Tips for Networking Success

  • You have a great network through your life experience!  Friends, family, neighbors, professors, people you volunteered with or worked for, are all sources of great information.  (Check out the resources listed above to see how to obtain additional contacts.)
  • Check with your individual school within the University of Hartford to join their LinkedIn group.
  • Carefully read the information on the website about information interviewing and networking.
  • Be prepared!  Before contacting anyone, research the industry.
  • Be professional in all of your e-mails, phone, text, or in-person contacts.
  • When alumni respond, get back to them promptly!
  • Send a thank you note to each person you speak with within 24 - 48 hours after the interview.
  • Career Services strongly recommends that you meet with a career advisor to discuss and practice proper networking etiquette. 

Remember -- informational interviewing and networking is the best way to find out about careers or how to obtain a job.  You want to make a favorable, positive impression!