Informational Interview Guide

This guide is designed to help develop Informational Interviews that work for youth and young adults, host employers and organizations, and Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) programs. It is part of the DYCD Work-Based Learning Toolkit, which provides proven approaches and strategies to create high-quality, safe and legal Work-Based Learning experiences for youth and young adults enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program in New York City.

Informational Interview Overview

Utilizing Informational Interviews to support learning in classroom and workshop settings is a structured Career Awareness activity in which youth and young adults formally interview an employer partner about his or her industry, educational and career path, and chosen profession. Unlike a Guest Speaker activity, where speakers usually address a group in the classroom or in a workshop, Informational Interviews are one-to-one interactions and generally take place at the company or organization’s workplace. The interview includes discussion of the person’s chosen career, the path they took to get there, the level of education required and the responsibilities and daily activities of the job. The youth and young adults also ask questions and learn about the range of career opportunities within the industry or organization, opportunities for growth and the salary ranges for different occupations.

Informational interviews are designed to promote:

  • Exploration of a field of interest
  • Exposure to careers and jobs
  • Awareness of the academic, technical and personal skills required in particular jobs
  • The opportunity to practice and demonstrate key professional skills, including communication, critical thinking, workplace appearance and timeliness
The Importance of Structured Activity

All Informational Interviews should include structured activity before, during and after the experience. These activities help ensure that all involved parties have meaningful, productive experiences that result in enriched youth and young adult learning. Proper planning and preparation, attention to legal and safety details, maximization of learning potential, and communication and support for the youth or young adult and host will help ensure success.

Informational Interview Tools

Tip sheets and checklists for program staff, company or organization partners, youth and young adults and instructors are provided in this toolkit to help design, structure and support Informational Interviews to maximize youth and young adult learning. Each tip sheet supplements the Work-Based Learning essential elements described in this toolkit and provides a set of success factors and lists of activities or tasks to perform before, during and after the experience. A fact sheet for prospective employers is also provided.

In this Tool Packet:
Program Staff Tip Sheet: Informational Interview Success Factors A tip sheet for Summer Youth Employment Program staff or intermediary partners responsible for implementing Informational Interviews
Youth/Young Adult Tip Sheet: Informational Interview Success Factors A tip sheet to help youth and young adults get the most out of the Informational Interview
Host Tip Sheet: Informational Interview Success Factors A tip sheet for participating Informational Interview hosts

  • What’s my role in the Informational Interview?
  • What should I talk about?
  • How does this work?

Employer Fact Sheet: Informational Interview A fact sheet that describes what’s involved in a company participating in an Informational Interview

New York City Youth and Young Adult Career Pathways