Sample Phone Scripts to Help You
Get Informational Interviews


What’s on this Phone Scripts page . . .
  1. How Do I Get Started Making That First Call?
  2. What Do I Say on the Phone?
  3. What Do I Say If the Person I Want to Interview is Not Available?

Making That First Call

Remember, you are only going to talk to people, who want to talk to you about themselves and their work. That’s because most people who love their jobs want to talk about their work. If you call and get someone who doesn’t want to talk to you, chances are they don’t really like their job. And you don’t really need to talk to them. So those who love their work are going to love having this opportunity to chat with you. And they usually give you longer than 15 minutes, because it’s such an enjoyable experience for them.

Most people are scared to make that first call. All kinds of excuses will go through your mind, including “Why would anyone want to talk to me?

You may have to bribe yourself to make that first call. Prepare for it. Rehearse it with a friend if you need to, using your phone scripts. Begin with people you know.

If you don’t know where to find good people to interview, read Who Should I Interview? and the Key to Finding the Best People to Interview

Once you get the first informational interview under your belt, you’ll be fine.

What Do I Say on the Phone?

Sample Introductory Phone Scripts:

“Hello, my name is Jennifer Jones and I’m doing some research on working as a ______________. I’m looking for some candid advice about how to get into this field, what the future prospects are, and what the pros and cons are, as you see it. Would you be willing to give me a few minutes of your time either now, or later at your convenience?”

“Hello, my name is Jennifer Jones and I’m interested in the possibility of working as a _________ . I have done my research from the outside, but there is only so much you can learn about it without talking to someone who is actually doing the job. I’d really appreciate it, if you could give me a few minutes to answer some questions, and to tell me what it’s really like on a day to day basis, for someone who is doing this job.”
notebook and pen
“Hello this is Jennifer Jones. I’m considering training in the field of ________ and I realize that I really don’t know much about it, other than what I read in books. Before I go any further, I’d like to have a chance to talk with someone, who might be willing to give me a realistic view of what I can expect, in this field.”

Hint: When you have been referred by someone, you have a better chance of being received.

“Hello, my name is Jennifer Jones and I’m looking at getting into ___________ .
A mutual acquaintance of ours, _______________, has recommended that I call you.
He said you are the best in the business, and might be willing to let me ask you a few questions. Would you be willing to give me 10-15 minutes of your time either on the phone or in person at your convenience?”

If they agree to talk with you, then, watch the time. After 10-15 minutes, if the person is starting to sound hesitant or impatient, you might say something like this: “I realize your time is precious, and I only asked for 15 minutes. Are you all right with continuing this conversation, at this time?” This gives you a graceful way of ending the conversation.

However, if the conversation is going well, you may not have to say anything. Use your best judgement as to whether you need to bring this up. It can be tricky, because you don’t want to end the conversation if it is going well.

What To Say If They Are Not Available

Possible Scenarios:

Pick the phone script that fits your needs at the moment.


Employer: “Look, I’m too busy to talk right now.”
Your Response: “Thank you for taking my call. I realize I’ve caught you at a bad time. Would there be a more convenient time when I could call back?”

If they can’t speak with you at any other time, then ask: “Would there be anyone else I could speak with?”
There is nothing wrong with asking this question.

If they give you a name, you need to ask: “Would you mind if I tell them that you suggested I call?”

When you receive permission, then you have an open door to that next person, because you can say: “Mr. Smith, President of Acme International, suggested I call you.”


Employer: “No, I’m sorry I don’t have time for this, right now.”
Your Response: I know you are the best in your field, and I have admired your work for quite awhile. I would love to have a chance to interview you personally, perhaps at another time?

You need to sound very sincere when you are saying this. It should be the truth. If you are just reading it as a script, they’ll know.

Employer: “I’ll be available on Saturday, if you can get me before noon, I should have a few minutes to talk with you, then.”

Your Response: Thank you. I will call back shortly before noon on Saturday. I look forward to hearing your views.”

Be sure you call at least 5 minutes before noon, the next Saturday. This is really an appointment that you cannot afford to miss.

When you have flattered the person and are promising to be their admirer, if this doesn’t get their interest, let it go.


Employer: “I can’t take this call. Please talk to my assistant.”
Your Response: “Thank you. I’ll be glad to talk to your assistant.”

When the assistant comes on the line, be frank and honest and tell her/him exactly what you need. Say you would be willing to come in or to do a phone interview at any time.

Assistants are sometimes easier to talk to. They know what it’s like to be looking for information. If they can’t arrange an interview, they may be able to give you another name and number, at the firm, to contact.

Cold Calls become easier to make, when you realize that the person at the other end, is totally absorbed in their own world. They don’t know who you are, and therefore, you don’t need to take it personally, if they can’t talk to you right now. They will usually offer another alternative.

After you’ve made a few calls, try creating your own Phone Scripts to have at hand. They will help you to relax and feel confident, when making your calls, because you’ll be ready for anything.

Also see Recommended Resume Building Resources

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