Five Tips for a Perfect Informational Interview

May 21, 2014

By By Ellen H. Badger and Shawna Szabo

Did you miss our earlier blog post, "How to Use Networking and Informational Interviews to Start a Career, Further a Career, or Change a Career?" You'll find it here.

As we mentioned in that post, informational interviews can lead to a "foot in the door" when it comes to starting or advancing a career in international education. Now we reveal five tips for a successful informational interview.

  • Do your research regarding the person with whom you'll meet. A quick Google search can give you some great conversation starters about their past publications or presentations in the field.
  • Dress to impress. This may not be a formal job interview but you want to be sure to make a good impression.
  • Bring your résumé and be prepared to discuss why you want to work in international education.
  • Ask for advice and additional contacts. Be sure to get 3-5 additional names of people you can contact to ask for informational interviews. You never know who might be aware of potential job openings in the field!
  • Follow up with a thank you e-mail or written note within 24-48 hours of your meeting. Be sure to make it personal and genuine.

We'll have many more ideas to share at our presentation, "Tips to Make Yourself a Stronger Candidate," at the 2014 NAFSA Annual Conference on Tuesday, May 27, 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m. See you there!


Join Ellen and Shawna May 27, 2014 from 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m. PDT in the Career Center at the 2014 Annual Conference & Expo in San Deigo.

Ellen Badger retired from Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY) in 2013, after thirty-nine years of service, including twenty-seven years as Director of International Student and Scholar Services. Ellen is the 2013 recipient of NAFSA: Association of International Educator’s Life Membership Award, the 2012 recipient of NAFSA’s Marita Houlihan Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of International Education, as well as the NAFSA Region X 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award. Among her professional areas of interest are staff development and office management.

Shawna Szabo is the Assistant Director for International Students and Scholar at Binghamton University. She has worked in the field of international student and scholar advising since 2008. Shawna has her Masters of International Development from University of Pittsburgh.


SHARE THIS POST