How to Write a Killer Introduction Email for an Informational Interview

Find out how to compose an email that will score you an informational interview.
Carmen Teh
Writer, gradsingapore
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An informational interview is the perfect tool that can help you get an insider’s insight on a profession or industry. What’s an informational interview, you ask?

Well, don’t let the name fool you. An informational interview is not a job interview – it is a job search tool where a job seeker arranges a meeting with an industry insider to find out more about the line of work he or she is in, and what to expect in a similar career path.

However, taking the first step by asking a professional to meet with you can be nerve-wracking, especially when you’re a graduate with little to no networking experience. Not to worry, we’ve got you!

Here are some pointers on how you can reach out to an industry professional via email for an informational interview.

Email template

This template is a general guide with the points you should include in your email addressed to the person you want to meet. Feel free to tweak it according to your situation – but do remember to keep things professional!

Dear [recipient's name],

My name is [your name], I’m a [student or graduate] from [your school]. I’m writing this email because [reason why you would like to speak with this person]. I’d love to meet up to learn more about [one to two things you want to learn from this person].

I’m sure you’re busy, so I would appreciate just 30 minutes of your time.

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Email sample

Now, here's an example of what your email should look like when you’ve filled in the blanks of the above template with your information:

Dear Mr Lim,

My name is Audrey Kong, and I’m a graduate from NUS. I’m currently working at XYZ Automotives as a mechanical engineering intern.

Your career path as an engineer and entrepreneur is very inspirational to me. Your successful venture in the tech scene is admirable. What’s even more impressive is that you built this venture based on your knowledge and skills as an engineer.

As an aspiring technopreneur, I would love to meet up with you and learn more about your career journey from starting off as an engineer to becoming the successful entrepreneur you are now. I want to know what were the skills (both hard and soft skills) that aided you in this career path, and what advice you’d give to an aspiring technopreneur like me.

I understand you most likely have a busy schedule, so even 30 minutes of your time would be immensely appreciated.

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Audrey Kong

Breaking it down

There are many ways you can write your email, but we recommend composing your message with the above points and structure for several reasons. Here’s a quick breakdown and analysis of each part of the email:

1. Introducing yourself

Your opening line should immediately provide the context of your message.

Jump straight into what you are currently doing, so that the recipient of your email knows what stage in your career (or life, in general) that you’re in, and how he or she can help you.

2. Explaining the reason for the email

Following your introduction will be your explanation of why you’re writing to him or her.

While this part of the email can be used to flatter the person you are requesting to meet, what’s important is to show that you’ve done your research, and that there’s a reason why you chose this person specifically for insights and advice.

A little flattery will charm your email recipient, but don’t go overboard and risk sounding insincere.

3. The specifics

After explaining why you chose him or her, you should highlight the specific questions you want to ask during your informational interview.

Scheduling a meeting with a professional only to show up clueless about what to ask will really throw him or her off. Remember that this person is taking time off his or her busy schedule to meet you. The last thing you want to do is waste their time.

Your email recipient will more likely say yes to you if they can see that you’ve set a goal for the meeting, and already have specific questions in mind.

4. The end

Ending your message with something along the lines of “I understand you are busy, so…” will show that you acknowledge that you are requesting for a big favour.

This is a sign of respect and maturity, which will improve your chances of successfully landing this meeting.