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Information Interviewing

You will complete one information interview.

The interviews can all be in the same field or a similar one, or in three distinct career fields that you are interested in. As the semester progresses, you’ll have more information and detail to incorporate into the summary report you will submit for each interview. There will be one report due for each interview. I provide the questions to answer and the information for you to research and provide, you provide the answers and your thoughtful analysis. Basically, an interview is due every 4-5 weeks in addition to other papers and the textbook assignments and other various assignments and quizzes.

Information Interview- A primer
The first written assignment is an exercise in exploring career information. You will be required to complete an information interview and file a report on your findings. This document is an explanation of information interviewing.

INFORMATION INTERVIEWING

In the job search process, the goal of interviewing is to get a job offer. In the career exploration process (which is where we are), the goal of information interviewing is based on the premise that people are a tremendous source of information. The purpose of the information interview is to gain information about a specific career field upon which to base some career decisions and to put you in touch with possible eventual job leads.

Begin with people you know (your network contacts). Choose from this group those who are in career fields to which you aspire or people in related career areas. What about people you don’t already know? Identify them through newspapers, telephone books, professional associations, directories, and alumni programs at your college.

If you have located an office name, but don’t have the name of an individual, call and speak with the secretary or receptionist. Explain politely and succinctly why you are calling (for information, not employment) and ask if you can be directed to the appropriate person. Schedule an appointment for a specific amount of time (30 minutes maximum). An alternative is to send a letter ahead of time stating what you want, indicating you will be telephoning, and asking that the secretary or receptionist be alerted to your call.

Be prepared! Take an active role to get the most from the interview. Review in your mind what you want to learn from an individual. Have questions prepared ahead of time.

Following are some sample questions you might wish to choose from:

1.) What credentials (education, degrees, licenses, etc.) are required for effectiveness in this occupation?

2.) How much variety would you say there is in the type of work you do?

3.) Is there much opportunity for travel?

4.) What types of employers hire people in your line of work?

5.) What kinds of work values (security, income, prestige, etc.) attract people to your occupation?

6.) What do you find most rewarding/least rewarding about this career field?

7.) What is the typical entry-level salary range for positions in this field? What is the potential?

8.) What is a typical career path?

9.) What is the future job outlook in this field (increased or decreased opportunity, etc.)?

For the three specific assignments in this course, the questions will be provided to you and all should be part of the process.

FOLLOW-UP

Always ask for a referral to someone else. Ask the person with whom you are speaking to refer you to others who would be good sources of information. Evaluate what you have been told critically. Are trends developing from one person to another? (In the end – you’ll have to make your own judgments about the validity of the information.) Make sure you have the correct name and title of the person with whom you’ve spoken. Write a thank you note and mail it within 24 hours of your interview.

For the assignment, report on who you interviewed, where they work, what they do. Also go into detail about what you like and dislike about the career, and whether you will pursue this occupation with more information.

Information Interview 1 – This assignment is the first of three (3) information interviews that you will have to conduct. For all three interviews, you will submit a final report to me. Your grade will be based on the content and quality of the report. A report, not a list. A well-written, thoughtful review of your experience and findings. A report.

As you conduct the interview, consider carefully what is being said and how you feel about it. If you become more interested in a career or certain aspects of it, that is an indication that you should further pursue this field.

Likewise, a negative reaction indicates that you may want to avoid this field.Your assignment is to contact someone in a career field you are interested in. This person can be a family member but their occupation should be one that is of genuine interest to you. The questions to ask of the person, and that make up the format for your report, are included with this packet of information. Once the interview is complete, you are expected to sum up the interview and your reactions in a typed paper following the format provided. This assignment is not complete until I have the written report. Do not submit your reaction sheet or notes with the interview, only your reaction paper. The reaction paper (summary report) should consist of the following information in essay form:

Section 1: Background

Describe the career the person is in and how you (A) became aware of the career itself and (B) how you established contact with the person. Included in this section should be a review of your own history- the jobs you fantasized about as a kid and recently, and the jobs you have had in the past 2-3 years or do have now. Discuss what aspects of your work experience you most like and what aspects you detest. Provide the following details:

The name and job title of the person you interviewed.
The name and general location of their place of employment.
The product(s) and service(s) this employer provides�� A general description of the persons’ job duties
What specific degrees or credentials the person has
What caused you to select this person and this career field
Section 2: The Interview

Discuss the kind of work that the person does- not the duties but the functions and activities, and whether or not you like it. Specifically, provide detailed answers as to why you did or didn’t like it. Essentially, you should review their answers and your reactions to the third and fourth questions of the interview. Then move on to discuss their advice and the job outlook for the field according to the person you interviewed.

Section 3: The Reaction

This part should be anecdotal information regarding how you felt the experience went and how it affected your career direction. At some point in the interview, you will realize that you are or are not interested in this work. What caused you to have that feeling? How does this career fit the vision you have for your own future? What next steps, if any, will you take in regard to this specific career?

1. Name of Person Interviewed

2. Job Title of Person Interviewed

3. Place of Employment

4. What are the job responsibilities and duties?

5. How did you get started in this kind of work. Did you have any special training or education?

6. What do you enjoy about your work? (Try to get specific details)

7. What do you dislike about your work? (Again, get specifics)

8. What can you tell me about the occupational outlook for this line of work? Will there be demand locally or nationally?

9. What skills are essential for success in this field?

10. What advice would you give someone interested in this kind of work?