informational interview for exercise class

EXSC Interview Paper Guidelines

An informational interview is your chance to ask someone who works in a field that you are considering questions about their job. The informational interview is something that you initiate and you ask the questions. You are looking for information and not for a job or internship. It is a good way to learn about a career field, narrow down options, obtain advice, network for the future, and discover how to enter a field. In previous EXSC 241B courses, I have had students interview DPTs, ATCs, DCs, PTs, Massage Therapist, Strength and Conditioning Specialists, RDs, Physical Education Teachers, and many more. Former professionals have included the following: Gary Vitti (ATC for the LA Lakers), Tim DiFrancesco (Strength and Conditioning Coach LA Lakers), UCLA Strength and Conditioning Staff, Atlanta Hawks Sport Medicine Staff, and many more. Some students have been offered internships after this experience. My message is . . . research the field and the top professionals in that particular field. You never know who you may interview, connect and network with.’

The professional must work in the field(s) of exercise and/or nutritional sciences, or similar.

  • Try to find a professional in which you have a common major or interest, in a work setting you like, in a career area you are interested in, and in a specific job and organization.
  • Prepare an introduction of yourself for people that you are planning to contact. Explain to them that you are interested in the type of work they do and would like to ask them a few questions on THEIR FREE TIME (or do conduct an informational interview/visit the facility in which they work). Offer to take him or her to lunch???
  • Perform some research about the area in which the professional works before the interview. In addition, research the professional being interviewed (e.g. education, professional background, certifications, etc.). Google? LinkedIn? Etc.?
  • Then make a list of potential questions. Think of questions that are relevant to what you want to know.
  • Remember you are the interviewer, and therefore, you should be prepared to initiate the conversation. I would recommend recording the interview (ASK THE PROFESSIONAL FIRST). However, this will allow you to focus on the conversation and you can review the answers to the questions later.
  • Dress professionally and keep the appointment time you have set up (be early!!).
  • After your interview, send a thank you letter (or email) to the person you met with. However, my recommendation would to be to send a hand written letter.

Informational Interview Guidelines 2 Interview Questions & Answers Section (10 points)

Provide a minimum of 10 interview questions with responses. Attach your interview questions and the business card to your narrative section. This is NOT part of the narrative section. Provide the professional’s email or contact (i.e. phone, instagram, etc.).

Narrative and Evaluation Section (40 points)

Write a 3+ page narrative about your experience in MLA or APA format (12 font, 1 in. margins, double-spaced, (running) header (including page number), and title page). Guidelines are (but not limited to) below: Begin with an introduction, and explain how and why you selected this professional for your informational interview. What did you do to prepare for the assignment? Then analyze and evaluate the interview and the information you received. How does it related and/or impact your future professional goals. Did they change? Did you feel more motivated? Etc. How can you apply the knowledge gained to your future career (or in the present)? What was the most meaningful information you received? What was the “best advice” you received?” Next time you perform an informational interview, what will you modify? Lastly, what is the purpose of an information interview? Do you feel like this experience was beneficial overall . . . or a waste of your time?

Examples of Potential Questions: YOU NEED TO COME UP WITH Q’s TOO! These are general-type questions.
• Tell me how you got started in this field (What influenced you to enter this field?).
• What is your educational background? Or . . . What are the educational/professional steps you

took to get to this position?
• What education and/or experience would be helpful in pursuing this career?
• What are some of the challenges in your position?
• What do you enjoy most about your position?
• How much flexibility do you have in terms of hours, dress, vacations, etc.?
• What trends do you see for the industry in the next 3-5 years?
• What types of employers hire people in this line of work?
• What are the most important factors in making a hiring decision?
• What advice do you have for me?
• What is a typical day like for someone in this position?
• Which professional organizations, journals, etc. would help me to learn more about this field? • Do you have any suggestions for improving my resume?
• Do you have a recommendation for someone else that I could talk to about this career area?

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