Occupational Interview Assignment
GEB 3035 Effective Career Management
OI Assignment Overview and Objectives
An occupational interview is an interview conducted with a professional to collect information
about an industry, career field, specific type of job, or even a graduate or professional school
program. An occupational interview is NOT a job interview. The purpose of an OI is to help
define and expand career options by developing up-to-date knowledge about career industries
or occupations of interest, probable companies for future employment, or even investigating
graduate/professional school programs for future enrollment. In addition, OIs will help expand
your professional network, build confidence for future internships and job interviews, and
identify professional strengths and weaknesses.
To acquire the most up-to-date information, there are few resources more helpful than talking
directly to an insider in an area(s) of interest. Through this assignment, GEB 3035 students
will attempt to discover vocational knowledge including what an insiders profession is really
like, what responsibilities the professional performs on a day-to-day basis, what an
organizations corporate culture is about, or what law/medical/graduate school really consists
This assignment involves conducting five informational interviews with persons who have a
specific type of knowledge that can assist with educational and career planning.
You may interview anyone for this assignment. Ideally, you will strategically select your
interviewees based on the area of career development most relevant in your current season of
life. If you are interested in health care, education, or marketing, consider selecting a handful
of individuals to interview in the health care, education, or marketing industries. If you want to
work for a specific company (Disney, Raymond James, etc), interview professionals who work
inside those organizations to learn about corporate culture and/or learn how those
organizations are internally structured and staffed. Interested in graduate school or law
school? Consider interviewing admissions officers, current graduate or law students, and/or
The key consideration is you may interview any individual you wish as long as it assists your
career development. Other potentials interviewees may include, but are not limited to:
Working professionals (in various industries/fields/geographic locations of interest)
Graduate or professional school admission officers, current students enrolled in the
program of interest, and/or professors or deans employed by the program
Any current or previous supervisor(s); current or previous co-workers; current or
previous co-workers from other departments in an organization
Neighbors, former neighbors
Family members co-workers, family members friends, family members, relatives
Any other individual not listed here who can provide career insights!
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Before you launch out to interview your subjects, please read the following documents to get
the most out of this unique assignment. This assignment is typically one of the highlights of
GEB 3035 for many students.
Documents to read (all located on our GEB 3035 Sakai site, under the OI assignment):
a. Informational Interviewing: Get the Inside Scoop on Careers
Author: Olivia Crosby, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, US Department of Labor
b. OI Supplemental Resource #1 – Informational Interviewing
Author: University of California Berkley Career Center
c. OI Supplemental Resource #2 – 10 Ways to Make the Most of an Informational Interview
d. Sample Questions for Use During Occupational Interviews
e. Examples of exemplary OI papers submitted by former students
After reading these documents and successfully interviewing your subjects, address the
following information in your write-up for each OI submission:
1. Occupational Interview # (i.e., #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, Extra Credit)
2. Interviewees name, Interviewees position title
3. Interviewees organization
4. Date and location of interview
5. Summary of interview content
a. The goal is to capture the main points from each question asked during the
interview. Students can provide a complete transcription of the conversation OR
summarize key points without transcribing every word. You may select to do
either of these options, whichever helps you learn and reflect on your experience
b. For each question asked, make sure you submit a complete response in the writeup,
completely answering the questions you asked during the interview.
Incomplete or insufficient information will lose points. See exemplary papers from
former students for typical response length and content.
c. Although there are no minimum number of questions to ask during the interviews,
students should ask enough questions until new insights are acquired and/or
verified occupational/industry/graduate school information relevant for personal
6. Your personal reaction
a. Your personal reflection includes summarizing key points, insights, general
impressions, excitement, disappointments, or clarity discovered as a result of this
interview. Make statements like What I took away from this interview was , I
learned X and Y from this interview which I did not know, What impressed upon
me the most was ____, and/or I was surprised/disappointed to learn ____.
b. Your personal reaction section is more than simply parroting back facts and data
from your interview. This section is designed for synthesis and evaluation of what
the information acquired actually meant and to provide an opportunity to infuse
self-knowledge with new career knowledge.
Enjoy making unique discoveries as a result of completing this assignment!
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