An informational interview is a conversation with someone who can give you advice about an organization, field of work or a particular job that interests you. Your interviewee may be someone you already know like a supervisor, family friend or coworker, or it may be with a stranger.
An informational interview is a conversation with an individual who can give you information about an organization, a job field, an industry, or particular job. It’s also a great way for you to reality test a career path and start networking with people in your field of interest.
Informational interviews can help you:
- Determine if a career field is right for you
- Discover new possibilities in your field
- Gain insight into the realities of employment
- Allow you to expand your professional network
Since you will be meeting with a professional, you’ll need to be prepared for the interview. Check out our Preparing to Conduct an Informational Interview handout in the Online Publications & Resource Center for some tips and tricks for a successful meeting!
Candid Career features informational interviews with professionals working in thousands of professions across the world. With Candid Career, you can learn about a variety of career opportunities from the people who do them every day!
Or utilize Interview Stream, an online resource that enables you to record and receive mock interviews without leaving your computer.
Job shadowing is a critical but often overlooked element of career development that provides you with the unique opportunity to learn about the careers that interest you firsthand from professionals who do them every day. Shadowing opportunities, which may exist at half-day, full-day and longer lengths, are a great way to build your network and gain an insider's perspective of the jobs that interest you most.
Career Services is here to help you access job shadowing opportunities across the state of Texas and beyond. To learn more about job shadowing, read our job shadowing handout in our Online Publications & Resource Center or contact your college liaison by visiting our Who Can I Contact? (Career Services Liaisons) page.
Volunteering, much like job shadowing or pursuing an internship, is a great way to gain experience, build your resume and create a professional network--all while giving back to your community, school or cause of your choice. You can volunteer at faith-based, nonprofit or government agencies--or even right here on campus. Find volunteer and unpaid internship opportunities at websites including Serve.gov, Do Something!, Idealist.org and Volunteer Match. To learn about volunteer opportunities coordinated here on campus, visit the Texas State Student Volunteer Connection website.
An internship can be the first real-world experience you’ve had with your possible career path. Typically a semester or longer, an internships provides you with critical professional experience--before you graduate! An internship can:
- Provide insight into the skills, duties and career opportunities associated with your major or desired field
- Confirm or negate your major choice
- Introduce you to networking contacts within your field
- Help you secure a full-time position upon graduating