Make the Most of ASK Night!

Make the Most of ASK Night

Informational interviews are conducted not to apply for a job or internship, but simply to speak to someone in order to gather information. You might interview someone who works in a career field that interests you, or who engages in other activities for which you both share a passion.

Although "formal" informational interviews are best conducted in a private meeting, ASK Night allows you to gather information about post-graduation pursuits in a Logger-friendly environment.

Informational interviews allow you to do some serious "reality checking." You can find out first-hand if the daily duties of a person engaged in particular work match your understanding or expectation of that work.

The information you gather can help you identify the specific needs of a profession or a particular employer. This helps you determine if the challenges match with your interests and skills, which is key in career exploration.

Interviewing for information allows you to establish valuable contacts with people who are in the field you're investigating. These people may also be some of your best sources of information concerning future job leads.

Before ASK Night

  • Prepare an introduction ahead of time. This will help you approach alumni with ease.
  • Consider bringing copies of your resume in case you meet someone who knows of an opportunity and can forward it on your behalf. Make an appointment with a career advisor in CES to have your resume critiqued.
  • Prepare questions to ask the alumni. See sample questions below.

During ASK Night:

  • Remember that networking is about meeting people; anybody could have information (or a connection) that could be helpful to your career path.
  • It may be useful to ask for a business card for future reference. Keep in mind though, that asking for a card sets up the expectation that you will follow up. For instance, if you have a good conversation and ask for a card, we recommend that you send a thank you card or message within a few days of the meeting.
  • Dress professionally to make a good first impression. It isn't necessary to go out and buy a suit for this event, but we do recommend that you dress nicely.

Questions you might ask at ASK Night (or any other informational interview):

  • "How did you get into this line of work?"
  • "What advice can you give me regarding a career in your field?"
  • "What tips might you have for looking for jobs/internships in this field?"
  • "How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for success in your field?"
  • "What advice do you have for students entering the job market in the current economy?"
  • A great opener for anybody you meet: "What are you working on?"

If you meet someone directly involved in your field of interest, you can ask them more detailed questions about their work, day-to-day activities, skills required, etcetera.

Read more about informational interviewing and networking.

Joe Woolley '10

Joe graduated and quickly joined the ASK Network as an alumnus. Here's what Joe had to say about his final ASK Night as a student: "ASK Night is an easy way to make connections, become more comfortable and confident with networking interactions, and learn about fields of interest from a first-hand source."