Propel Careers

Propelling Careers Podcast - Episode 17 - Informational Interviews - what to ask 

June 25, 2024 
by Lauren Celano, CEO, Propel Careers and Jim Gould, the Director for Postdoctoral Affairs at Harvard Medical School 

Apple Podcast Link

In this episode, Jim and Lauren build upon information shared about informational interviews in Episode 16 (Spotify) Episode 16 (Apple Podcast) which focused on why to do informational interviews and how to identify people. This episode focuses on what to ask during an informational interview covering advice including these details below.  We hope you enjoy listening!

  • It is important to reflect on what information you would like to learn from informational interviews and develop tailored questions based upon these. There is no standard checklist of questions to ask during informational interviews
  • These tailored questions empower the person you are speaking with to provide you with relevant information
  • To develop your list of questions, start high level and then dive deeper as you learn more about a given career area and have more informational interviews.
  • Questions you ask can focus on themes such as Day to day work, State of the industry/sector/field, Compensation, growth, and advancement, Skills and experience needed, Fit and culture, Blindspots (what haven’t I asked about that I should)
  • We cover do’s and don’ts for informational interviews to help make these effective. These include not being transactional, don’t make extra work for the person you are informational interviewing with, and follow up on suggestions and/or connections.
  • Following up after the discussions.

Lauren Celano, CEO of Propel Careers and Jim Gould, the Director for Postdoctoral Affairs at Harvard Medical School, launched this podcast as a way for us to share our advice, insights, and reflections to help others navigate their careers.

As we develop new episodes, this podcast will provide insights regarding career advice to help listeners navigate career choices and become more confident in their decisions. We look forward to busting myths and providing real life, timely, and accurate advice. Jim and Lauren work heavily with Ph.D. trained scientists, but the advice we provide can be applicable to other audiences. We hope you enjoy listening!



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