University of Pittsburgh

The Meeting: You are the Interviewer!

Remember, the purpose of this meeting is to gather information that will take you closer to your goal of getting a job. In this situation, you are the interviewer and it is your responsibility to direct the discussion. Your two main goals for each informational interview should be (1) making a positive impression upon your contact; and (2) leaving the interview with additional names of people you can contact.

General Protocol

  • Dress appropriately
  • Have a (stated) purpose and agenda 
  • Briefly establish rapport through “ice breaker” topics before moving on to interview questions
  • Bring a copy of your resume 
  • Always try to get a referral (name, place or journal) before you end the meeting 
  • Ask for a business card so you will have the correct contact information for writing a thank you note and future communications
  • Keep to the time limit initially requested - no matter how well it appears to be going; your contact will respect that you are using his/her time efficiently

Sample Questions to Ask

  • How did you obtain your current position?
  • What has been your career progression since graduating from law school?
  • What do you like the most about your job? the least?
  • How do you spend your day? How much time do you spend researching? How much time do you spend with clients? 
  • What kinds of skills are most essential for success in this field? 
  • Are there particular law school courses that you suggest? 
  • If you were a law student again, is there anything you might do differently? 
  • Where might I gain experience needed for a job in this field? 
  • How receptive is a firm to a candidate who has gained most of her experience in the public sector? 
  • Do you have any suggestions for improvements on my resume? 
  • Based upon my resume and our discussion, how suited is my background for the work you do? 
  • What types of experiences, would you recommend? 
  • What is most rewarding about working in this field? 
  • Is this legal area growing? How do you see it changing over the next few years? 
  • What professional journals/associations do you suggest I look into? 
  • How do people learn about open positions in this area? Are positions usually advertised, or are they often filled through word-of-mouth? 
  • Can you give me the names of other attorneys who may be helpful to me? 
  • May I use your name when I meet with others in this field? 
  • May I call you again?

Revised 09/28/2011 | Copyright 2011 | Site by UMC