Preparing for the Informational Interview
An informational interview is a recommended tool for exploring career options. You will submit a written account of the informational interview you conducted with the psychology professional.
You will ask the interviewee to describe the educational and training steps (the career paths) he or she took to reach the current position. You will also ask the interviewee to describe, in some detail, the job responsibilities associated with the position. The interview must be at least thirty minutes long. Ideally, it should be conducted in person. If that is not feasible, a phone interview is adequate.
Begin to prepare for this informational interview by identifying the professional you plan to interview. Ideally, the professional should be engaged in a career that you hope to pursue. (You may want to identify a second candidate in case your initial choice is unable to complete the interview with you.) This professional may work in your local area, but that is not necessary. If you cannot identify a professional easily, ask your friends and family if they know anyone who works in the field of psychology. You may also want to phone your local community mental health center or social services agency to ask for names and contact information of potential professionals you could interview. Contact your facilitator for guidance if you have difficulty in identifying someone.
In a 1- to 2-page Microsoft Word document, address the following:
- Provide the following identifying information about the individual you have selected:
- The name
- The job title (licensed psychologist, social worker, or case manager)
- The level of education (a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree)
- A description of job responsibilities or day-to-day tasks
- The type of license, if applicable
- The state of residence and practice
- The e-mail address or phone number
- Develop a list of at least fifteen questions to ask in your informational interview. Research possible questions to include using the Argosy University online library resources and the Internet. Refer to the Job Resources document to conduct an Internet search using the search terms “informational interview questions” in order to find suggested questions. Be sure to put them into your own words for the purpose of this assignment and to give credit to your source by using in-text citations and a reference list in APA format.
- Ask the interviewee about his or her work, academic preparation, and advice. In addition, include the interviewee’s answers to questions on the following topics:
- The experience, skills, and knowledge necessary for success in a career in psychology or in graduate school
- Relevant professional organizations
- His or her views on professional ethics and academic integrity
- The role of psychological research in his or her work
- His or her greatest challenges and rewards
- His or her reasons for choosing the field
- Develop a script (word-for-word written statement) that you will use during the warm-up (meet-and-greet) portion of the interview. What will you say to the interviewee when you meet him or her? What will you do? For example, will you shake the person’s hand and introduce yourself? Include small talk of a professional nature that will serve as an introduction and explanation of the purpose of the interview. Demonstrate in your script your ability to interact professionally and effectively in a professional environment.
- This assignment is preparatory work for the interview to be conducted later in this course. Do not conduct the interview for this assignment.
- Write a 1–2-page paper in Microsoft Word format. Apply APA standards to cite sources.
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