Networking is one of the most successful methods for a job search, and informational interviewing is perhaps the most effective way to network. True networking is about building lasting professional relationships which are mutually beneficial, rather than about asking people for jobs.
Through informational interviews, you can seek advice and information about how to best position yourself in your search and how to be most competitive in a difficult hiring market. More importantly, you can learn from an insider and become knowledgeable about a
particular function, industry and/or even a company’s culture.
See these resources for more on informational interviews.
Informational Interview Guidelines (pdf)
Informational Interviews Do’s and Don’ts (pdf)
Informational Interview Preparation Checklist (pdf)
200 Informational Interview Questions (pdf)
Formal Info Interview Sample Request (doc)
Informal Email to an Alum (doc)