Informational Interview Letter

4 Reasons for You to Write an Informational Interview Letter

If you are just starting out in the working world or are thinking of switching careers, you could probably use some advice from a successful member of the career field. You could have what is called an informative interview. This type of interview gives you a chance to ask questions and learn more about the career field you are interested in.

An informational interview letter is the first step to getting an informational interview. In order to know if this type of letter is really for you, you should look at four reasons to write it. After that, you need to know how to write it.

Why Write This Letter

Here are four reasons you may want to write a letter to someone who you want to interview:

  • Gives you an opportunity to make contact and set up a time to meet them.

  • You can tell them why you want to interview them in particular. What accomplishments drew you to them? How can they help you have a better career?

  • You are able to show them what you know about them. A little sincere flattery may help you get an interview.

  • Sets you apart from other people asking to talk to them.

    An informational interview letter is a great way for you to try to expand your network. There are a few reasons you may not want to write this type of letter. If you already know the person you are planning on interviewing, this type of letter may be redundant. It also helps if you have a friend in common at least. However, that is not necessary.

    If you do decide to send this type of letter, do it with confidence. The worst that can happen is the person will say no or not respond. Putting yourself out on a limb may be quite helpful for you. If you truly want this type of letter to be successful though, you have to be sure you know how to write it well.

    Format and Content

    An informational interview letter needs to be professional, like any other letter you would send to a prospective employer. Of course, this letter is different because you are not looking for a job, but you still want it to be well-written because you want this person to have a high opinion of your work ethic. They may be able to refer you to a job in the future.

    Because of its importance, the format of this letter should be formal.

  • Your name, address and contact information; can be in either the top left or right corners

  • The date; directly under your information on the same side

  • The name of the interviewee, their title, the company name and address; normally on the left side under the date

    • Greeting; under the interviewee’s information
    • Content; all left aligned
    • Ending salutations; under the content
    • Your signature; under the salutations
    • Your name printed; under your signature

    By using a formal format your letter will look professional, and make sure that you start your relationship on solid ground.

    The format is important, but it is not the most important part of the letter. You need to make sure to really focus on the content. The first paragraph needs to let the interviewee know your intentions. Let them know that you want to interview them and a brief explanation of why. You should also let them know when you were thinking this interview could take place. The time and date does not have to be specific. You could just say something like within the next week.

    You then want to include more detailed reasons why you want to interview them. Their accomplishments, what you can learn from them and things of that nature are all great reasons to perform an informational interview. Let them know that you are just starting out and want some advice.

    Make sure to let them know that you recognize they are busy, but you would appreciate them taking the time to talk to you. By reviewing the format and content of your informational interview letter you will seem more professional, which may make the interviewee more interested in participating.

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