Great Careers Groups Career Management,Career Transition How to Use LinkedIn to Set Up Informational Interviews

How to Use LinkedIn to Set Up Informational Interviews


If you want to advance in your career or need to explore careers as a new graduate or reinvention, you might want to have informational interviews. The late Richard N. Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, refers to these as conversations with an expert or specialist in an industry that interests you. It’s an opportunity to have a one to one dialogue.

There is certain etiquette that should be followed for an informational interview, including the established length of time, which might be 15 to 20 minutes. If you are able to create an agenda and send it in advance, that will set a professional tone and help keep the conversation on track.

Build rapport, discuss your needs, tap into the expert’s network, ask what you can do for them, offer contacts from your network, and follow up with a thank you.

So where might this start with a stranger that you don’t know? On LinkedIn, of course. Where might you send the follow up thank you? On LinkedIn, unless you can write a handwritten thank you and send by snail mail.

Use can do Boolean searches in LinkedIn or in Google for LinkedIn to find the right people you might want to interview. You can also ask others to make introductions for you on LinkedIn.

Here are a bunch of resources on informational interviews if you want to conduct one.

3 things you MUST do before your next informational interview

5 tips for non-awkward informal interviews

70+ questions to ask in an informational interview

Email informational interview requests (with samples)

How I leveraged an informational interview to land a job 

How to conduct a proper informational interview

How to convince strangers to help you get a job

Informational interviews are a form of networking

Mastering the informational interview

The one job hunting trick you’ve been neglecting

Top 10 tips for successful informational interviews 

Happy networking! Remember that networking is the key to your career success.



Lynne M. Williams is the Executive Director of the Great Careers Groups, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career development and networking connections for 1) job seekers in career transition, including veterans, and 2) employed and self-employed for career management.

Aside from writing keyword-focused content for ATS resumes and LinkedIn™ profiles, Lynne is writing her doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn™ for Job Seekers. She is a contributing author on “Applying to Positions” in Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love, along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and is also a speaker on career topics.