It is important that you spend adequate time taking an inventory of your interests, skills, values, personality and work environment preferences. This step will provide the foundation for identifying the job that is right for you. The following are a few questions to help you get started:

  • What activities have I enjoyed performing most on previous jobs?
  • What hobbies or leisure activities am I involved in that support my job objectives?
  • What strengths do I possess that would interest a prospective hiring manager?
  • What special training, certifications or degrees do I possess?
  • What do I need in my work environment to feel satisfied with my job?

Set Goals

Having completed your self-assessment and explored employment opportunities at Duke, your next step in the job search process is to define your job goals and establish a plan to achieve your objective.

It is important to establish SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Schedule an Appointment

Appointments are available for full time Duke staff.

Self-Directed Search

Duke employees can contact the Duke Recruitment Resource Center at for an id/password to complete this thorough self-assessment:

The Self-Directed Search

Informational Interviewing

An informational interview is not a job interview. Informational interviews are useful if you want to learn about a particular job. Through the informational interview you can find out what experiences and qualifications Duke departments are looking for. The information you gather can assist you in deciding whether or not to pursue this option. If you are considering further education, the advice you gain may also help you in selecting a major or minor field of study.

By reading Duke publications you can learn more about areas that may interest you or individuals for potential informational interviews.

Planning for the meeting

  • Do dress as if you are going for an interview. Be professional.
  • Do schedule 30-45 minutes for the conversation and be aware of the time. Watch for clues that it is time to leave.
  • Do pay attention to your thoughts and reactions. If you feel excited and energetic, this may be your niche. If not, expand your contact list.
  • Don't ask for a job now - even if you are eager to do so.
  • Don't book too many back-to-back interviews. Your contact may want to introduce you to some hiring managers or executives.
  • Don't talk only about yourself. The more the contact talks, the more you will learn.
  • Do write a thank-you letter within two days. At that time, if you are interested,  you can ask about procedures for applying for a job.

Some sample questions

  • Is there any advice you would give someone just entering the field?
  • What kind of lifestyle choices have you had to make?
  • Has your work experience differed very much from what you expected? In what ways?
  • What major satisfactions do you derive from working in this field?
  • What are some of the issues/problems that you must deal with in your work?
  • Could you tell me a little about the management style here?
  • What strategies would you be using if you were in a job search for a position in this field?
  • Would you be willing to critique my resume?
  • What types of questions should I expect when interviewing for a job in this field?
  • Would you be available to do a mock interview?

More information

For more information on informational interviews, please visit the following web sites: