By Zoe Brinner ’23
CES Peer Advisor

An informational interview is only as good as the interviewee. 

(Actually, there’s a lot more that goes into making a good interview — like asking the right questions. Look for more on that topic in the next installment of this 4-part series.) 

How do you find the perfect person to interview? Use your connections by utilizing your network in person and online. 

The University of Puget Sound has alumni working across a wide array of industries and roles, from policy-making at the senate to animal-keeping at zoos. So leveraging your university connection is a great place to start! Here are some ways to find and meet Loggers:

  • Logger Link is Puget Sound’s Logger-to-Logger mentorship and networking platform, launched in 2021. It’s populated by Puget Sound alumni and staff who have specifically joined to support students’ career development. The platform has a community page with a powerful search function that can help you find interviewees, and includes a video chat space that you can use to conduct your interview. 
  • LinkedIn Alumni Search, similar to Logger Link, lets you filter alumni by company, position, location, and major, among other criteria. However, it reaches a larger population of alumni. Unlike Logger Link though, the alumni haven’t opted in for student outreach, and may be less responsive. Still, LinkedIn can be a great tool for building your network. 
  • Career and Employment Services (CES) is also a great resource. We often have alumni in attendance at our events, whom you can network with. Additionally, our career advisors are well-connected! Lots of alumni keep in touch with them, and CES pays attention to where people land after graduation. Chances are good that we’ll have ideas for alumni who match your interests, whom we can introduce you to!
  • Word of mouth is the low-tech, tried-and-true way to make connections. Ask your friends and professors if they know someone who matches the profile of your ideal interviewee — they might be able to put you in touch with that person directly, or with someone who knows them. 

No matter who you interview, you will learn something. But the more they align with your identity, values, and interests, the more their experience will apply to you.

When searching for a chiropractor to interview, I started by using the alumni search function on LinkedIn and was able to find a subset of alumni who were chiropractors and lived in the Pacific Northwest. I looked at the profiles that came up and decided that Dr. Cydney Keller would best be able to answer the questions that I wanted to ask.  

If you’re considering a few potential interviewees, factors that can help you choose who to interview include:

  • Similarity to you and to your goal/interests
  • Location/format of interview

Ideally, you want to interview someone who has a lot in common with you. The more similar the two of you are, the more likely their experience will be relevant to you.

You might look for similarities in identity such as gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation if you want to know about the role that their identity plays in the workplace. 

You might also look for similarity in educational background. When I was looking for a chiropractor to interview, I was especially drawn to Dr. Keller because, like me, she majored in a humanities discipline. And I wanted to know what her experience was like pursuing a doctorate in a health-related field — as someone coming from the humanities at a liberal arts university. 

When looking for similarities, you can be as broad or specific as you like, but the goal is to find someone who you can easily talk to, who will give you insightful advice.

You can seek similarities to your career goals or interests. If you want to be an executive, you might consider executives across various industries, prioritizing their job description in your search criteria. 

On the other hand, if you know you want to work in environmental advocacy but don’t know exactly what you want to do in that field, you might prioritize the industry over the interviewee’s job title.

No matter who you interview, you will learn something. But the more they align with your identity, values, and interests, the more their experience will apply to you.

Finally, consider the role that location will play in your conversation. Do you live close enough to meet for coffee, or will you need to talk via zoom or a phone call?

Keep in mind that you may need to adjust your search criteria…

Initially I was looking for people in the Tacoma area, since I feel more comfortable speaking in person than online. Yet the local chiropractors didn’t have the humanities background I was looking for, so I widened my search and found Dr. Keller. 

Before looking for an interviewee, I already knew that I wanted to ask about gap years before graduate school and the impact of a liberal arts and humanities education on their role as a chiropractor. Dr. Keller checked all the boxes! 

Check out our Alumni-Search Guide (coming soon!), Logger Link, or visit CES to get started finding your ideal interviewee.

Image by Savannah Gossard ’24
© 2022 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound