How to ask for an informational interview via email

How to ask for an informational interview via email

What's an informational interview?

An informational interview is a great way to connect with professionals and gain industry insight from someone already deep in the trenches. You’ll build your network while strategically placing yourself in the mix for any future opportunities. Play your cards right, and it could lead to a job referral in the future.

You can request informational interviews from people who went to your school, professional contacts, or even people in your LinkedIn network.

Use our email template and below points to craft an informational interview request that gets a positive response!

Striking a mutual connection

Start the email by sharing how you came to contact them. This is a good way to establish a rapport with your potential contact. If you were referred by someone, mention their name at the start of the email. A warm introduction like this is extremely likely to get a response.

If you have a shared professional connection, make it clear “I’m a Berkeley Alumni working in data science too.”

Be clear about what you’re asking for

Be clear that you’d just like to ask a few questions about their industry and career experience.

“I’m keen to hear your insights on emerging trends in (insert industry) and any advice on getting started in the industry?”

The idea of an informational interview isn’t to ask for a job - it’s to establish a connection, gather information, and make a good impression.

Be flexible!

Typically, offering your potential contact for a coffee was common place, but now in light of everything going on, I'd recommend just offering a quick call over Zoom or phone call. Sometimes, just emailing your questions may work better for a busy schedule.

Haven’t heard back? Send a short follow up email 4 - 5 days after your first email. Landing an informational interview might take time, but it can be a career gamechanger.