How to Identify Your Informational Interview Target

Updated Apr 21, 2021 2 min

Informational interviews are all about you getting the answers to your career-related questions and building relationships with people who might be able to help you now or in the future.

Your time is valuable, so prioritizing what you most want advice on or help with is essential. Much like you’ve given some thought to what types of jobs you’re interested in, it’s important to get clear on the types of people who would best equip to help you land those jobs.

To identify who you should target for informational interviews, jot down your answers to the following questions:

Your responses to those questions should become your guiding compass.

Your responses to those questions should become your guiding compass.

Start with your current network

It’s always easiest to start identifying informational interview targets within your current network. Do you know anyone in the career paths you listed, works at the companies you’d love to work at, or has the job titles you’re seeking?

If so, great! That’s who you should aim to talk to for an informational interview.

Ask for introductions

If you don’t know anyone, ask your current network if they know anyone who fits in those categories. Think of everyone you know as being in your networks, such as family, friends, colleagues, former colleagues, former classmates, and friends-of-friends. These are the people who already know and like you. The people in your network will almost always be happy to make an introduction for you.

Search LinkedIn

If you don’t have any luck with your current network, it’s time to hit LinkedIn. Do a LinkedIn search for a company or job title you’re interested in. Then, filter down to the people you have a 1st or 2nd-degree connection with who meet that criteria. Focus on 1st or 2nd-degree relationships because people are far more likely to help if they have someone or something in common with you. 

Here’s a quick video walking you through how to search LinkedIn: