Setting up information interview appointments with all the friends, professional acquaintances and corporate executives is just the first step. More important is knowing what to say and ask once you arrive or phone. Wasting networking contacts' time is unacceptable, so you should prepare a schedule before each meeting. Make sure you decide what you going to ask to gather the information you need.
Review the following list of questions. Pick those that are most appropriate and adjust them to fit your needs. Create some of your own questions as well, but don't try to squeeze in too many questions. It's better to leave contacts wanting more than to wear out your welcome.
I am fascinated by the field of psychology and would like to know how most people get into the field.
How did you become interested in the field of psychology?
What do you think is the best educational preparation for a career in psychology?
Which part of the job is the most challenging for you?
Do you think there is enough growth in your area to advise someone like me to get into your career area?
In your experiences, what are the dangers or frustrations?
Of all the individuals you have met in your work, what personal attributes do you think are essential to succeed?
How often are there cut backs in your area? How does that effect the moral of the employees?
Where could I write to get printed materials about your firm or agency?
Which professional journals and organizations should I know about in psychology?
I would like to view your area and career with my own eyes. Can that be arranged?
What are the qualifications are required in your career area?
As far as you know, what agencies hire and train recent college graduates?
What skills are required for your position?
After listing my experience, is it applicable to getting into your career area?
What experiences have you had that you think have been invaluable to learning your profession?
Which classes would you recommend I take related to your area?
How did you get your job?
From your perspective, what are the problems in working for the non-profit sector?
Would you describe your typical work day?
What motivates you to stay in your profession?
What would my earning potential be?
How often do you work past 6:00 pm and on the week-ends?
What is the reason most people give when they leave your profession?
What would you say are the lifestyle considerations of psychology as a profession?
Regarding promotions, how quickly have most people in your area been promoted?
What experiences do most recent hires have in common?
If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself. Why? What would you change?
Considering what you know about my skill, education and experience what other fields or jobs would you suggest I find our more about?
From your personal point of view, what qualities do you look for in a new hiree or managerial person?
Who are the most important people in your profession today?
What are the busy times of the year for you?
Would I qualify for any positions in your agency at this time?
What are the skills you are looking for?
What do you see as the real product of your profession? Who are you serving?
How does your company or agency compare with others?
What are you looking for on a resume?
What training opportunities do you think I should expect in an entry level position?
Do you foresee developments in your area that will affect future opportunities?
Have you noticed that it is necessary to change companies in order to advance?
Is there a trend of overabundance of people entering your career area?
Where do you see the opportunities for self-employment in the psychology area?
Are there other job titles that I should be looking at that are comparable in your area?
What kind of entry level salary should I expect in your area?
Where can I be with your company three-five years from now and what kind of salary range?
What types of positions has your company recently hired?