How to Use LinkedIn to Set Up Informational Interviews


By Lynne Williams

If you want to advance in your career or need to explore careers as a new graduate or reinvention, you might want to have informational interviews. The late Richard N. Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, refers to these as conversations with an expert or specialist in an industry that interests you. It’s an opportunity to have a one to one dialogue.

There is certain etiquette that should be followed for an informational interview, including the established length of time, which might be 15 to 20 minutes. If you are able to create an agenda and send it in advance, that will set a professional tone and help keep the conversation on track.

Build rapport, discuss your needs, tap into the expert’s network, ask what you can do for them, offer contacts from your network, and follow up with a thank you.

So where might this start with a stranger that you don’t know? On LinkedIn, of course. Where might you send the follow up thank you? On LinkedIn, unless you can write a handwritten thank you and send by snail mail.

Use can do Boolean searches in LinkedIn or in Google for LinkedIn to find the right people you might want to interview. You can also ask others to make introductions for you on LinkedIn.

Here are a bunch of resources on informational interviews if you want to conduct one.

  • 3 things you MUST do before your next informational interview
  • 5 tips for non-awkward informal interviews
  • 70+ questions to ask in an informational interview
  • Email informational interview requests (with samples)
  • How I leveraged an informational interview to land a job
  • How to conduct a proper informational interview
  • How to convince strangers to help you get a job
  • Informational interviews are a form of networking
  • Mastering the informational interview
  • The one job hunting trick you’ve been neglecting
  • Top 10 tips for successful informational interviews

Happy networking! Remember that networking is the key to your career success.

Don’t miss our upcoming featured events. If you are a working adult, come learn and network with us. You must be a member of the meetup before you can RSVP to any of these events on meetup and see location details.

  • 3/2 Inaugural Meeting of a New Career Success Group – Sean Reynolds
  • 3/2 6 Secrets to Save Entrepreneurs 2 Hours a Day – Erica Quigley
  • 3/3 The Future of Work – George Pace
  • 3/3 & every Tues in March LinkedIn 5 Part Series – Lynne Williams
  • 3/4 Beating the Applicant Tracking System – Lynne Williams
  • 3/4 How Not to Suck at Networking – Ashley Owens
  • 3/7 Womenomics – organized by Friends of the Delaware County Women’s Commission
  • 3/9 Integrating Emotional Intelligence into the Job Interview & Beyond – Dr. Laura Dowling
  • 3/24 YWCA Tri-County Area’s 25th Annual Tribute to Exceptional Women

Need to accelerate your job search or manage your career? Explore our kickstarter offerings.

Missed the previous article on Showcase Your Outstanding Work in LinkedIn’s New “Featured Section”? Click here!


Lynne Williams. Ed.D. Candidate is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit of over 4400 members providing career education and networking.

Contact Lynne by phone at 484-393-2951, email at, on social media @GreatCareersPHL and #GreatCareersPHL and connect on LinkedIn at



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