Informational Interviews are the Secret to a Happier Career Change

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a lot of unexpected changes in the job market. It triggered millions of working professionals to question their values, purpose, and ideal working conditions. For many, it resulted in a pivot to a more fulfilling role.

Changing careers can be a scary and uncertain process. Fortunately, informational interviews can help. According to, an informational interview is a meeting to learn about the real-life experience of someone working in a field or company that interests you. When executed intentionally, they can save professionals time and money by avoiding the wrong degrees, job titles, and business investments.

A career pivot can lead to a rewarding career journey. Here’s why I believe informational interviews are the secret to a happier career transition.

Lead with curiosity

Contrary to a job interview, an informational interview is a low-pressure conversation that focuses on the professional and not you, the future job-seeker. Let’s face it. Job interviews require the job-seeker to sell themselves and their skills. In an informational interview, you have the opportunity to lead with curiosity and ask questions that will help you better understand the role, its responsibilities, and what the industry has to offer.

Network with industry leaders

As an introvert who experiences social anxiety, networking is one of my least favorite adulting responsibilities, and by least favorite I mean I hate it. Networking can be inauthentic, feel sales-y, and sometimes draining. Would you agree? Informational interviews are nothing like that. As long as you’re intentional and lead with curiosity, informational interviews can be one of the most effective and energizing ways to build relationships with industry leaders. Even though you’re not going into it for a job, you might be the first person they contact with a unique opportunity.

Get insights without commitments

Every career transition requires considerable commitment, including time, money, and focus. Conducting informational interviews allows us to gain firsthand insight into the job we’re contemplating. Sure, you can read blogs, watch videos, and browse job descriptions, but there’s nothing like getting an honest perspective from an experienced professional. One 30-minute conversation can save you from a 30-year investment down the wrong career path.

Cultivate confidence

Any career transition, no matter how well thought-out, is terrifying. You’re leaving the job you know for an opportunity you can only hope works out. While self-doubt is normal during this process, informational interviews can help alleviate that insecurity making more educated decisions about your journey. Hearing real examples and experiences from professionals will generate good (and not-so-good) emotions. Listen to your body, and you’ll likely head down the right journey.