Grace Kutney

Author: Grace Kutney

Sample Informational Interview Questions

Clustered Informational Interview Questions for Liberal Arts Students (Combined)

I. Day-to-Day Work, Skills, and Career Path

  • What do you do on a typical day? (Day-to-Day)
  • What skills do you use most often in your work? (Skills)
  • In what ways does this position require the use of specific skills? (Skills)
  • What made you decide on this career? (Career Path)
  • Is the career as you expected? How does it differ? (Career Path)
  • What courses, training and experience have been most helpful to you in your present work? (Career Path)
  • What do you feel is the best preparation for this kind of work? (Career Path)
  • How well suited is my background for this type of work? (Career Path)
  • How do your liberal arts studies contribute to your work in this field? (Liberal Arts Skills)
  • What specific skills from your major have been most beneficial? (Liberal Arts Skills)

II. Critical Thinking, Communication, and Research

  • Can you describe a recent challenge you faced in your work and how you tackled it? (Critical Thinking)
  • How important is critical thinking in your field? (Critical Thinking)
  • How often are you presented with situations that require creative solutions? (Critical Thinking)
  • How much do you collaborate with others in your role? (Communication)
  • What communication styles are most effective in your field? (Communication)
  • How do you approach writing and presenting information in your work? (Communication)
  • How important is research and data analysis in your work? (Research)
  • Can you describe a recent project that involved research or analysis? (Research)
  • What resources do you use to stay informed about current trends in your field? (Research)
  • Can you give an example of how you use writing skills in your daily work? (Liberal Arts Skills)
  • How do your critical thinking skills benefit you in this field? (Liberal Arts Skills)
  • How have your communication skills been utilized in your career path? (Liberal Arts Skills)

III. Work-Life Balance, Practicalities, and Career Development

  • How does your work combine with your personal life? (Work-Life Balance)
  • How much flexibility do you have in terms of dress, hours of work, vacation schedule, place of residence, etc.? (Work-Life Balance)
  • What is the salary range for various levels in this field? (Practicalities)
  • How do you stay up-to-date on the latest skills and knowledge in your field? (Career Development)
  • What professional development opportunities has your company offered you? (Career Development)
  • What advice do you have for a liberal arts student who wants to pursue a career in this field, but doesn’t have a directly related major? (Career Development)
  • How does your company promote work-life balance for its employees? (Work-Life Balance)
  • What resources does your company offer to support employee well-being? (Work-Life Balance)
  • How do you manage stress in your fast-paced work environment? (Work-Life Balance)

IV. Job Market, Advancement, and Industry Insights

  • Is there a demand for people in this field? (Job Market)
  • Do you view this field as a growing one? (Job Market)
  • Where would you suggest that I look for job vacancies in this field? (Job Market)
  • What job titles should I be looking for? What entry-level jobs are best for learning as much as possible? (Job Market)
  • What types of training do organizations give to people entering this field? (Job Market)
  • What opportunities for advancement are there in this field? (Advancement)
  • What are some of the biggest trends happening in your industry right now? (Industry Insights)
  • What are the core values of your organization, and how are they reflected in your work? (Industry Insights)
  • What do you enjoy most about the company culture here? (Industry Insights)

V. The Future of Work

  • What skills do you think will be most important in your field in the next 5-10 years? (Future of Work)
  • How do you think technology will shape the future of this industry? (Future of Work)
  • What advice do you have for navigating a constantly changing job market? (Future of Work)

VI. Opportunities and Networking

  • Is there an opportunity to obtain a summer job or internship in this field? Where? (Opportunities)
  • Can you recommend others I should contact regarding this type of work? May I use your name when contacting them? (Networking)

By using this combined list with reorganized themes, you can ensure a well-rounded and informative

HR 101: Your Guide to a Rewarding Career Helping People

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes to keep a company running smoothly? Enter the fascinating world of Human Resources (HR)!

Think of HR as the backbone of any organization. They handle everything related to its most valuable asset: its people. It’s a dynamic field that goes beyond writing paychecks. HR professionals play a crucial role in:

  • Recruitment: Sourcing, screening, and interviewing top talent to bring the best people on board.
  • Onboarding and Training: Helping new hires adjust to the company culture and equip them with the skills they need to succeed.
  • Employee Relations: Addressing employee concerns, mediating conflicts, and ensuring a positive work environment.
  • Compensation and Benefits: Administering salaries, bonuses, and a range of employee benefits packages.
  • Compliance: Ensuring the organization adheres to labor laws and regulations.

But wait, there’s more! HR isn’t a one-size-fits-all job. Here’s a glimpse into some specialties:

  • Talent Acquisition Specialists: The rockstars of recruiting, they find and attract qualified candidates for open positions. Think job postings, resume reviews, and interview coordination.
  • Training and Development Specialists: Focus on building and delivering programs to help employees develop their skills and advance their careers.
  • Compensation and Benefits Analysts: Design and administer employee compensation packages, including salaries, bonuses, and health insurance plans.
  • HR Business Partners: Strategic partners who collaborate with different departments to ensure HR practices align with the organization’s overall goals.

Why HR?

If you enjoy working with people, have a knack for problem-solving, and are passionate about creating a fair and positive work environment, HR could be your calling.

Ready to Dive In?

  • Internships: Gain valuable hands-on experience through HR internships offered by many organizations.
  • Network: Connect with HR professionals. The Career Center can help you connect with alumni and other HR professionals to gain insights into the field.
  • Explore Resources: Websites like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM: and HR Certification Institute (HRCI: offer valuable information and resources.

Remember, your liberal arts education and strong interpersonal skills are assets in HR. So, if you’re looking for a career that lets you make a difference in people’s professional lives, HR might be the perfect fit for you!

Beyond the Code: Your Secret Superpower for Tech & Data Success

We all know coding chops are like kryptonite to a computer – essential for bending technology to your will. But hold up, budding tech wizards, because there’s a secret ingredient even more powerful than a perfect Python loop: soft skills!

Yep, you read that right. While coding languages and data wrangling are your tools, soft skills are the superpowers that unlock their full potential, turning you from a lone coder to a tech titan or data demigod.

So, what are these mystical soft skills? Think of them as your social superpowers, like:

  • Communication: No, it’s not just about writing clear emails (though that’s important!). It’s about explaining complex technical concepts to non-technical folks, like that one neighbor who still thinks “the cloud” is a fluffy white thing in the sky. It’s about active listening, understanding different perspectives, and building trust with teammates and clients.
  • Collaboration: Tech and data aren’t solo sports. Imagine building a spaceship using only duct tape and bubblegum – that’s what working without collaboration feels like. You need to work effectively with diverse teams, share ideas, give and receive feedback, and celebrate victories together (because let’s be honest, debugging can be a warzone!).
  • Critical Thinking: This isn’t just about spotting typos in your code (although, good eye!). It’s about analyzing problems from different angles, questioning assumptions, and coming up with creative solutions. Think of yourself as a data detective, sniffing out insights and uncovering hidden patterns in the digital haystack.
  • Problem-Solving: Remember that feeling when your code finally compiles without errors? Pure euphoria, right? Well, that’s just the beginning. Tech and data are all about tackling challenges, big and small. So, sharpen your problem-solving skills, embrace mistakes as learning opportunities, and get used to thinking outside the binary box.
  • Adaptability: The tech world is like a rollercoaster on fast-forward – ever-changing, always unpredictable. Be a chameleon, not a grumpy cactus. Embrace new technologies, learn new skills on the fly, and stay flexible in the face of change. This adaptability is what separates the innovators from the tech dinosaurs.

So, how do you hone these secret superpowers?

  • Practice makes perfect: Volunteer for presentations, join project teams, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes. Remember, every stumble is a step closer to mastery.
  • Seek out mentors: Find experienced professionals in your field who can guide you and share their wisdom. Bonus points if they’re as cool as Obi-Wan Kenobi!
  • Get involved in your community: Attend workshops, hackathons, and conferences. Network with other tech enthusiasts, share your knowledge, and learn from theirs.

Remember, soft skills are the superpowers that elevate your technical expertise to legendary status. They’re the secret sauce that makes you a team player, a leader, and a valuable asset in any tech or data landscape. So, don’t just focus on lines of code, but also cultivate the social superpowers that will make you a force to be reckoned with in the exciting world of tech and data!


Now go forth and conquer! And remember, the force of soft skills is with you!

Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur: From Intern to Idea Machine

Internships – sometimes they’re data entry and filing, other times they’re life-changing experiences. But what if we told you every internship, no matter how “mundane,” holds the secret sauce to igniting your entrepreneurial spirit? Boom! Mind blown.

Think of your internship as a laboratory for your inner innovator. Here’s why:

1. Peek Behind the Curtain: You’re seeing how a real business ticks. Observe how decisions are made, problems tackled, and customers engaged. This insider knowledge is gold for understanding what makes businesses thrive (or dive).

2. Idea Oasis: Every task, every meeting, every overheard conversation is a potential goldmine for ideas. Is there a process that could be streamlined? A customer pain point begging for a solution? Boom! There’s your spark.

3. Network Ninja: From colleagues to clients, you’re surrounded by potential mentors, collaborators, and even future investors. Be open, friendly, and connect with those who inspire you. Remember, your network is your net worth (figuratively, of course).

4. Skills Bootcamp: Hone your communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Learn how to manage projects, navigate deadlines, and present your ideas with confidence. These are the tools every entrepreneur needs in their arsenal.

5. Fail Forward: Mistakes happen, even (especially) during internships. But guess what? That’s how you learn and grow. Embrace the bumps in the road as stepping stones to brilliance. Remember, Thomas Edison had a thousand failed lightbulb attempts before he got it right. So, experiment, iterate, and don’t be afraid to fall – just get back up even faster.

Now, unleashing your inner entrepreneur doesn’t mean quitting your internship tomorrow and launching a unicorn startup (although, if you have a killer idea, go for it!). It’s about cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset: being proactive, creative, and resourceful. Here are some practical tips:

  • Keep a notebook handy: Jot down ideas, observations, and questions that pop into your head.
  • Talk to everyone: Ask questions, seek feedback, and share your own thoughts. You never know where inspiration might strike.
  • Seek out challenges: Volunteer for new projects, suggest improvements, and take initiative. Be curious and ask questions. The more you understand, the more you can contribute.
  • Connect with local entrepreneurs: Attend meetups, workshops, and events. Learn from their experiences and build your network.
  • Read like a sponge: Devour books, articles, and podcasts about entrepreneurship, innovation, and problem-solving.

Remember, your internship is a launchpad, not a destination. Use it to experiment, learn, and build your entrepreneurial toolkit. Who knows, maybe by the end, you’ll be the one offering internships!

Bonus Resources:

So, go forth, intern-preneurs! Unleash your inner idea machine, embrace the challenges, and remember, the world needs your unique brilliance. Now get out there and change the game!

Preparing for Internships in Business: Setting the Stage for Success

Internships are like the dress rehearsals for your future career in the business world. They provide invaluable hands-on experience, help you bridge the gap between theory and practice, and open doors to exciting opportunities. But, securing a meaningful internship requires careful preparation and strategic planning. As you prepare for internships in business, here are some essential steps to help you set the stage for success.

1. Self-Reflection and Goal Setting

Before diving into the internship application process, take some time for self-reflection. What are your career goals? What specific skills or experiences do you hope to gain from this internship? By clarifying your objectives, you’ll be better equipped to identify the right opportunities and tailor your application materials accordingly.

2. Resume Enhancement

Your resume is often the first impression you make on potential employers. Ensure it showcases your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments. Highlight coursework, extracurricular activities, and any relevant projects or volunteer work. If you lack direct business experience, emphasize transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving. Consider using our resume AI tool, VMock to receive personalized feedback and make your resume stand out. Advisors and Career Peer Educators are also available to review your resumes.

3. Networking

Building a strong professional network can significantly enhance your internship prospects. Attend employer info sessions (even the virtual ones!), alumni events, and networking sessions. Connect with alumni and other professionals on LinkedIn and don’t be afraid to reach out for informational interviews. Personal connections can provide valuable insights and referrals.

4. Research Internship Opportunities

Start your search for internships early. Look for opportunities on Handshake, company websites, job boards, and industry-specific platforms. Pay attention to application deadlines and requirements. Don’t limit yourself to the most well-known companies; smaller firms and startups can offer equally rewarding experiences.

5. Interview Preparation

When you secure an interview, be ready to impress. Long before even being invited for an interview, start practicing common interview questions and prepare thoughtful answers that illustrate your qualifications. You can utilize Big Interview to prepare for interviews and build your confidence. When you do have an interview scheduled, research the company thoroughly, including its culture, recent news, and industry trends. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer to show your genuine interest.

6. Professional Attire

Dress appropriately for interviews and networking events. Business attire may vary by industry, but it’s generally better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Ensure your appearance is clean, neat, and professional.

7. Follow-Up

After interviews or networking events, send personalized thank-you notes or emails to express your appreciation for the opportunity to connect. This gesture demonstrates your professionalism and genuine interest in the role.

8. Internship Skill Building

While you await internship offers, continue developing your skills. Consider online courses or workshops to gain specific knowledge relevant to your field of interest. Building your skill set not only makes you a more attractive candidate but also boosts your confidence. Consider completing an internship project simulation through Forage.

9. Stay Persistent

The internship search can be competitive, and rejection is a part of the process. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Instead, use them as opportunities for growth and learning. Stay persistent in your efforts and keep refining your approach.

10. Seek Guidance from a Career Advisor

Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with me, or any of the career advisors at the Career Center. We can provide personalized guidance, review your resume, conduct mock interviews, and offer insights to enhance your internship search. We’re here for you – now, during internships, throughout your time at Lawrence, and after graduation.

Preparing for internships in business requires a combination of self-reflection, skill development, networking, and meticulous planning. By taking these steps, you’ll increase your chances of securing a meaningful internship that will pave the way for a successful career in the business world. Remember, internships are not just about gaining experience; they’re about discovering your passion and potential. So, seize the opportunity, and set the stage for your future success.

VPA Gap Year Opportunities


Actors Theatre – Louisville
     Approximate Deadline: February 28
American Stage Apprenticeship Programs
     Approximate Deadline: April 30
Arden Theatre Professional Apprentice
     Approximate Deadline: May 1
Barter Theater Apprenticeships and Internships
     Approximate Deadline:
Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Fellowship Program
     Approximate Deadline: March 10
CENTERSTAGE’s Professional Internship Program
     Approximate Deadline: Rolling, and selection process begins in early March
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
     Approximate Deadline: January 28
Acting Apprenticeship at Kingsman Shakespeare
     Approximate Deadline: January
Smithsonian Fellowships (several opportunities)
     Approximate Deadline: Various
Steppenwolf Theatre Apprenticeships and Fellowships
     Approximate Deadline: March 18