Conducting informational interviews remotely requires a careful look and policies and procedures regarding learner contact via phone or the internet with industry partners outside the school setting.
Informational interviews are usually conducted individually at the workplace or the school, however they may take place over the phone or using technologies such as FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet when appropriate permissions, guidance and protections are in place.
Virtual and hybrid informational interviews approaches are more straight-forward in terms of conducting them in an on-line environment, yet they lack the power of direct learner and industry partner interaction. There are also a number of virtual simulations available where a recording of a live interview with an industry partner can be viewed on-line and serve as a foundation for an activity and/or discussion in the classroom
Remote Interview Options
Remember, remote activities promote “live” learner contact with adult professionals and front-line workers via the use of technology. Appropriate permissions, protections and guidance should be developed to support these experiences.
Informational Interviews by Phone or Internet
A learner formally interviews an Industry Partner over the phone or internet about his or her industry, educational and career path, and chosen profession.
Steps To Success
- Review the Informational Interview Guide. Review and distribute appropriate tip sheets and check lists.
- Connector and/or Teachers recruit a range of Industry Partner(s) and support learners in selecting those they would like to interview.
- In some cases, learners may identify and reach out to an industry partner they would like to interview.
- Consider having learners interview someone they know about their career path and industry (could be a parent guardian, friend, coach, pastor, shopkeeper, etc.).
- WBL Connector and/or Teachers help learners select and test the platform as well as schedule the interview with the industry partner.
- Learners then contact, asks questions and interacts with the interviewee.
- Teacher support reflection activities and helps learners update their employability skills profile
- Ensure appropriate permissions, guidance and protections are in place and share those policies with employer partners and learners
- Distribute and collect necessary permission forms
- Get employer permission to record and reuse the session
- Make sure learners are comfortable with the selected technology
Virtual & Hybrid Informational Interview Activities
Virtual Informational Interviews
Remember, virtual activities are generally simulations and provide learners with employer exposures through recordings, on-line research and related classroom activities.
Learners review a prerecorded interview with an industry professional in the remote classroom and engage in a guided discussion after the interview. What did you learn? What surprised you? What do you wish the person had been asked? How can you follow up to learn more?
Consider having learners conduct on-line research to locate prerecorded interview session with employers and use those on the classroom.
Hybrid Informational Interviews
Hybrid options are those that combine some virtual activities with some live remote interactions with employers. A model where small groups interview an industry partner via Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or some other technology, record the session and then use it to form the foundation for a classroom activity and discussion.
Tips For Success
- Select and personally practice using the selected technology.
- Make sure all learners have access to appropriate technology.
- Do a test run with your learners as well as the presenter(s).
- Have all learners who will participate in the activity brainstorm and submit question they would like the Interviewee to answer
- Select a small group of learners to pose the questions to the interviewee and have them pose those questions to the interviewee or conduct the interview yourself. Record the activity.
- Decide how you want to organize and moderate the session. Sometimes it takes one person to manage the session and another to monitor the technology and address questions.
- Decide which learner reflection activities will take place and how you will support them.
- Remember, it’s likely that parents or guardians will be around and would be a good resource for potential future speakers,
- Make sure you get feedback on the activity from the speaker and the learners.
- Record and post the presentation for others to view and use in their classrooms.