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Informational Interview Questions and Answers

Last update: 08 May 2021, 11 Questions

Before moving out to the further details, let us tell you one thing more clearly than informational interview questions don't need to be only for your job interview. These questions can be asked to you anywhere especially when you are meeting someone for your career advice, or someone whose job you admire the most.

We will be covering most of the common questions to ask in an information interview. That will cover your career option and the way how you are progressing on it and planning to achieve your career goals. Some questions may be about your personal preferences that include your strengths or weaknesses but majorly focusing on your career side.

Questions to ask in an Informational Interview

Here in this article, we will be listing frequently asked Informational Interview Questions and Answers with the belief that they will be helpful for you to gain higher marks. Also, to let you know that this article has been written under the guidance of industry professionals and covered all the current competencies.

1. Why did you choose this career?

The reason behind asking this question is to know about your passion and skills towards the career. Do not start talking about yourself and your interest here. Keep the conversation professional.

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2. What's the greatest challenge your department faces?

This question is asked to you to know about how active you are in your job. This is highly recommended you know about the industry trends and then compare them with your department in the organization and see if they are also meeting the standards or facing some challenges.

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3. What's the biggest downside of your job?

The downside reason will depend on the domain and your personal preferences. The only thing we would recommend you is whenever answering this question make sure you are not keeping your problems above your job. Also, your answers shouldn’t feel demotivated to others who are willing to work in the same domain.

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4. What's the biggest challenge for your job?

The reason behind asking this is not to know about the problems you faced. It is more about knowing the way you cater to them. Whether these challenges excite you to kick you or they sound horrible to you?

It would be great if you can share some live examples here.

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5. What's the most important preparation for a role like yours?

It will depend on the role to role, the answer cannot be static to this question. But the simplest and dynamic answer can be “Dedication”. This is something that every role needs and if someone has that level of dedication they can achieve the best in their role.

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6. What would surprise people about your daily work?

The hiring manager is expecting to have savvy candidates for their organization/project, they want to judge your knowledge level. They also want to know the secret knowledge behind the work as it depends on the individual’s mindset. They asked this question for herself as well, with the assumption that they might get to know some interesting things here. So make sure you are not disappointing your hiring manager, you are going to answer this question with the best thing that you love about your work. Whether you are not sure if this is something that’s going to surprise other people, do share it.

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7. What do you wish someone would have told you before you started this career?

If you are happy with the career line you opt for yourself then your answer should simply be like - “I wish someone would have told about this so earlier, so that I have achieved more by this time here”

If you are not happy or satisfied with the work you are doing, do not mention that you are not happy or you have chosen the wrong profile. The best answer here can be - “I wish someone would have told me some other available courses so that I can get more visibility in opting for my career but no worries I am planning to have some more relevant courses.”

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8. How would you describe the perfect person for this job?

Here, if you are keeping someone else above yourself then you are raising the question to your capabilities that “why are you here?” Always mention the good to have qualities for this job and at the end

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9. If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

No one is going to judge you on this. This is simply a question to know more about yourself, your hobbies, etc. Be honest, and share your likes and dislikes here, and try to maintain a healthy relationship with your hiring manager.

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10. How will this job change over the next 10 years?

The next 10 years is a very big tenure to think about. You can simply say every job can promote and growth and I will love to see myself growing in this role and achieving more and more rewards and recognition that will help me in succeeding in my career. I will be a better person after 10 years concerning my job and knowledge as well.

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11. What's the biggest reward for your job?

The biggest reward for every person is that they love appreciation for whatever they are doing. And, I am also one of them. I love when someone appreciates my hard work. By being a little friend you can also say “money is also a big reward” but make sure you have created that environment before saying it.

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Questions to ask during an informational interview

Here are some broad questions that should function well by paying little mind to the business or the individual's professional background. Simply ensure that they're applicable to the individual by doing intensive research on their work ahead of time.

  • What current projects are you working on?
  • What's the greatest challenge your department faces?
  • What skills do you think are most important for someone interested in a job like yours?
  • What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
  • Do you have any recommendations for other people I should talk to or other resources I should explore?
  • Are there any questions I'm not asking that I should be?
The important thing to remember:

Before signing off, we just want to let you know that the informational interview questions do not take more than 20-25 minutes. So this is the only time where you can figure out how you can fit yourself. Listen to the question carefully and think twice before answering any question, as you have limited time to create your space!

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