Chatham University

Job Shadowing and Informational Interviews

+ What is Job Shadowing?

Job shadowing allows a student to spend time observing a professional on the job in order to explore career fields of interest and get a realistic view of what a day in that job is really like.

+How much time should be spent job shadowing?

Job shadowing can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. There is no set length of time. It usually just depends on the availability of the company/organization and the plans they have for you during the job shadow experience.

+Can I get paid for job shadowing?

Job shadow experiences are unpaid.

+Can I get academic credit for a job shadow experience?

Job shadow experiences are not for academic credit.

+How do I make the most of a job shadow experience?

  • Research the organization and occupation
  • Have a plan in mind and be respective of that professional’s time constraints
  • Stay focused on the professional’s job and career field
  • Prepare questions to ask the professional ahead of time
  • Dress professionally, similar to how professionals in that specific workplace would dress
  • Arrive ten minutes early and be sure to know where you are going
  • Bring your list of questions, a pen, paper, clipboard, and notes compiled from your research

+What is informational interviewing?

An informational interview is a meeting (over the phone or in person) between you and a professional to help define your career options or research a company that interests you. It is NOT a job interview.

+What types of questions should I ask in an informational interview or during a job shadow experience?

Click here to learn how to make the most of your informational interview!

+Why should I do informational interviewing and job shadowing?

  • To get real life information from a professional for your career planning and job search.
  • To learn more first-hand about a particular organization or company. Knowing the environment and mission of the organization will help you to adapt your qualifications and skills to the needs of the organization.
  • To gain experience and self-confidence in interviewing with professionals.
  • To grow your network! Networking is how 80% of people find their internships and jobs! Finding an internship or job is a lot of times about who you know!
  • To get your foot in the door of an organization or company that interests you. It is making a connection that could be beneficial later on in your career path!

+How do I find professionals within my career interests to do informational interviews or job shadowing with me?

Use your existing network, people you already know! Ask your family, friends, co-workers, professors, or anyone else you may know. Career Development may also assist you in your search, through working with Chatham's Alumni Office. Career Development can also show you how to utilize LinkedIn to connect with Chatham students and alumni who have worked in your related career field.

+How should I contact a professional for an informational interview or job shadow?

Click here to learn how to ask a professional for an informational interview or job shadow experience!

+Who should I contact if I need help with any aspect of the job shadow or informational interview process?

Schedule an appointment with a career consultant in the Career Development Office for additional assistance.