An Quick Conversation or informational interview is a communication with a professional in an industry, field, company, or position that interests you and that you would like to learn more about. An informational interview can be helpful at any point in your academic or career exploration. It is helpful when you are trying to decide what field or industry interests you and also when you are certain about the field but not certain what type of position or work environment might be a good fit.

Alumni can be one of your greatest resources! Many Amherst alumni are happy to meet or hear from current students and help in any way they can.

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Sample Questions for an Quick Conversations

  • How did you begin in this field?
  • How much education is required for entry into this type of position?
  • What personal characteristics do you believe are helpful for success in this career?
  • What types of extracurricular experiences would be good background for this job?
  • Are there any professional organizations in the field that would be useful for me to join?
  • To whom do you report? Who reports to you?
  • How does your work fit into the organization?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement?
  • How do you spend a typical day/week?
  • What is the range of your responsibilities?
  • Do you primarily work alone or as part of a team?
  • Are you required to travel? How often?
  • What is the employment outlook for this field?
  • How do you see jobs in this field changing over the next five or ten years?
  • What is most rewarding about your job? What is the most difficult thing?
  • What advice would you give someone trying to break into the field?
  • How can I market myself effectively for a position in this field?
  • How do people usually learn about job openings in your field?
  • Do you know of anyone else with whom it may be helpful for me to speak?