Informational interviews are becoming more popular, survey shows

Interviewees who make a positive impression are more likely to be alerted to job openings

Posted April 14, 2016

Though you may not hear about them often, the informational interview hasn't gone the way of the flip phone, according to a recent Accountemps survey. In fact, 36 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said these meetings are becoming more common, with nearly one-third (31 percent) receiving informational interview requests at least once a month.

Job seekers should take note — 84 percent of executives said when someone impresses them in a meeting, it's likely they will alert that person to job openings at the company.

“Informational interviews are the opposite of a typical job interview, in that the interviewee is expected to pose most of the questions,” said Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps. “To get the most out of the meeting, professionals should come prepared to ask about the company, the industry, and a typical career path for someone in that field.”

Driscoll points out that job seekers who arrange these introductory meetings with employers should be ready in case the tables are turned. “The informational interview is not a job interview, but it can quickly turn into one if the executive feels you might be a good fit for a current job opening.”

CFOs were asked, “Do you feel informational interviews are more or less common today versus 10 years ago?” Their responses:

Much more common


Somewhat more common


About the same


Somewhat less common


Much less common


Don't know


CFOs were also asked, “How often do you get requests for informational interviews from professionals who are interested in careers with your company or in your industry?” Their responses:

Once a week


Once a month


Once every few months


Once a year


Once every few years




CFOs were also asked, “When hiring, how likely are you to alert someone who impressed you during an informational interview about a job opening?” Their responses:

Very likely


Somewhat likely


Not very likely


Not at all likely


Don't know



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