How to (Actually) Network: Questions to Ask

You’re preparing for a networking meeting. You know you want to get the most information out of your contact as possible, but you don’t know what questions to ask. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. 

What do you do?

I don’t have all of the answers, but I can give you some sample questions to get your wheels spinning. After all, it’s crucial to enter every networking meeting with three to four questions for your contact. Here are just some:

About the Industry

  • What are some important long-term trends affecting your industry?
  • Do you see anything in my qualifications that looks good, specifically in regards to joining this industry?
  • What does my competition look like?
  • Do other job candidates seeking equivalent positions have qualifications like mine?

Regarding Your Career Options

  • From what you know of my career, what do you think would be a logical next step?
  • I’ve been thinking that a [specific position name] might be a logical next step. Would it seem to others like a side-step? Would it side-track my career?
  • Could you refer me to any other internet sites or other people who also know about these positions?
  • What can you tell me about the culture/environment/compensation in this career field?
  • If I get a position in [the area you’re interested in], do you know who my coworkers would be and what they are like?
  • Does the company offer any training or management development programs?
  • Do you know the salary range for this position?

Resume Feedback

  • Does my resume have a good overview of my experience and accomplishments?
  • How does it compare with other resumes you’ve read?
  • Do you know anyone who might be interested in seeing my resume?

Feel free to use these questions for yourself or adapt them to your networking needs. This is not a comprehensive list, but it should be enough to get you started.

If you find yourself needing more guidance on how best to network and job search, look no further than our Self-Paced Job Search program. It’s designed with tools and services to support every aspect of your career transition and includes resources to boost your networking skills.

As always, everyone at Don’t Dread Monday is here to help and answer your questions. Contact us using the form on our site or call us at 800.680.7768.

Until next time.