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Not sure what you want to do as a career? An informational interview can give you the information you'll need to make a decision. Learn how in this episode of How to Adult!

Hosted by: Rachel Calderon Navarro

Special thanks to Samantha Balk from Grain for lending us her lovely cowboy hat.

Huge thanks to Sarah Manuel for supporting us on Patreon!

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75 Informational Interview Questions:
Well guys, Rihanna was right, you gotta work, and not just on the dance floor.

Today we're talking about one of the most useful ways to figure out your career choices.  If you've thought about pursuing a certain job but don't know that much about what it's like, try seeking an informational interview.  


Let's say that you've always wanted to be, for example, a cowboy or a cowgirl.  Well, here we'll guide you through some steps to finding an informational interview in the cowboy industry.  But don't worry, this advice applies to informational interviews across a broad spectrum of professional fields.  We just picked "cowboy" because they get to wear cooler hats than say, insurance adjusters.  Sorry, insurance adjusters.  Step up your hat game.  

Okay, step one: Figure out what an informational interview is and is not.  An informational interview is asking someone to tell you in depth about their job so you can decide if it's the kind of thing that you'd like to do, too.  Think of it as reaching out to a human who can give you better information than just a Google search.  Remember, an informational interview is not a job interview.  The idea is to learn about being a cowboy, not to convince them to give you a job.  It might be best to pick an informational interview with someone who doesn't work for the exact same ranching operation you want to apply to work for.  If they decide later that you seemed like a real go-getter and they want to hire you, that's great, but it should not be your goal.

Step two: find a cowboy to ask for an interview.  Start with people you know and ask around.  Do you have any friends, family, teachers, or professors who could put in you in touch with a cowboy?  That's the best place to start.  If a cowboy can't be found, then do a little research and find one to reach out to.  It's probably not a good idea to try and ask for an interview from the cowboy who owns the ranch, because he or she might be super busy.  Try to pick someone who's  been cowboying a little white but still has some time to sit down with you.  

Step three: ask for the interview tactfully.  If you're approaching a stranger, try messaging them on LinkedIn or sending an email.  Emphasize that you're only seeking an informational interview.  Most people will be flattered because people love talking about their jobs, but still, you might encounter cowboys who are too busy roping calves to meet with you.  Think of asking for an interview like swiping through Tinder.  There's always going to be a little bit of rejection, but it only takes one 'yes' to get you that date.  Or in this case, an interview.

Step four: prepare a few questions before you go in.  It helps to write them out on a notebook and bring it to the interview in case you forgot what you wanted to ask.  Your goal is to come away with an understanding of what the cowboy's job is really like, including the downsides.  Ask the cowboy what kind of people are best suited for cowboying and what kind of people don't do well at it.  That will prompt the cowboy to tell you what kind of personality traits are useful.  

Step five: show up to the interview.  I was supposed to do that one sternly.  Show that you respect the cowboy's time and energy.  Arrive on time to the interview, be polite, and don't try to keep them too long.  After the interview, thank them!  

Step six: use your newfound knowledge to decide whether being a cowboy is right for you.  

If you have any job-wrangling tips or tricks, or have a topic you'd like us to cover, leave us your thoughts in the comments below, and if you want to learn more about adulting with Hank and I, go to, and subscribe.