Interviewing industry professionals

Benefits of interviewing industry professionals

Interviewing industry professionals is a great way to explore your career options. It involves talking to people about their careers and what they do in their jobs.

  • Gaining a better understanding of a career field and the work it involves
  • Learning about new and interesting careers
  • Clarifying career goals
  • Gaining a perspective on employment trends and opportunities
  • Learning what skills are needed
  • Gathering ideas for selecting relevant courses and degree programs
  • Making contacts in the field in which one hopes to work

Tips for interviewing industry professionals

First steps

  • Make contact with an industry professional and ask for a meeting to find out more about the work that the organisation/person does.  
  • Indicate the length of time that you anticipate the interview will take (20 minutes is usual).
  • Compile a list of questions that you wish to ask. Only ask questions to which the answers are not easily researched online. 

At the interview

  • Introduce yourself and thank them for making the time to answer your questions
  • Ask the most relevant/important questions first in case you run out of time
  • Make a good impression with your presentation, preparation and professionalism
  • Keep to the agreed time for the interview
  • Take notes as required
  • Do not ask for a job as this is not the purpose of the interview

Examples of questions

  • What has been your career path into your current role (e.g. qualifications and prior employment)?
  • What are your tasks and responsibilities?
  • Tell me about a typical day in your job?
  • What do you like/dislike about your job?
  • What advice would you give someone wanting to gain their first job in this profession?
  • How does this job affect your lifestyle?
  • What do you wish you had known prior to entering this field?
  • What professional journals or professional associations would you recommend?
  • Where do you want to go next with your career?

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