Informational Interview Guide

When searching for a job, it is important to not only understand the role beyond the job description, but also the company, the culture and how you would fit. Connecting with someone who is inside the company and either on or close to the team you are looking to be on is invaluable in the job hunt. Below are some questions to ask during the informational interview.

TIARA Method

From the book, ‘2-Hour Job Search‘ from Steve Dalton, he suggests using the TIARA Method (Trends, Insights, Advice, Resources and Assignments) of asking questions in informational interviews:


  • What trends are impacting your business right now?
  • How do you think your business will change most dramatically in the next several years?


  • What’s been your most valuable experience so far and why?
  • If you had to attribute your success at your firm to one skill or trait, what would it be?


  • What do you know now and wish you had known when you were in my position?
  • If you were me, what would you be doing to break into to the firm?


  • What resources should I look into next?
  • What next steps would you recommend for someone in my situation?


  • What projects have you done for your firm that you felt added the most value?
  • Have any projects increased in popularity recently at your firm?
Topical Questions

Role Specifics

  1. What is your role and what are you responsible for?
  2. What’s a typical day like for you?
  3. What do you like most about your work?
  4. What do you like least?
  5. What talents or skills do you think are the most crucial to success in this work?
  6. What attitudes or values are important?
  7. Who doesn’t do well in this type of work?
  8. How do you advance or get promoted in this type of work?
  9. What percentage of your time is doing what?
  10. What problems do you deal with?
  11. What decisions do you make?
  12. Tell me about a recent project or campaign you worked on.

Entry into this Role

  1. How did you get involved in this work?
  2. What was your training and background? Is this typical for people in your position and in similar positions?
  3. How important are specific credentials for entry or success?


  1. Why did you come to this company?
  2. What do you like about the company?
  3. What do you dislike about the company?
  4. What is different about working here that other places you’ve worked?


  1. Can you speak to (the latest press release)?
  2. What are your plans for growth?
  3. How has your latest marketing campaign performed?
  4. How are you stacking up in the marketplace compared to competitors?


  1. How is the team structured?
  2. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
  3. Who will I work with most closely?
  4. What other departments work closely with this one?
  5. What are some ways the company focuses on team development?


  1. (Set up) Can you help me understand the work environment, culture and morale here?
  2. Tell me about the company mission statement or values.
  3. What’s the difference between a good employee in this role and a fantastic one?
  4. What would your employees say are the top three reasons they love working for you?


  1. What are your projections for this type of work or industry? Is it stable, growing, declining?
  2. What are the key trends or issues? New developments? Key challenges?
  3. What and where are the opportunities?
  4. What are typical salaries in this type of job, entry-level to experienced? What are the opportunities for career growth?