20 Questions to Ask When Networking
Launching your career? Considering a switch? No matter the stage of the job-seeking game you’re in, gathering perspectives from your network can help. Here are some ways to optimize your networking activity.
Prep to Connect with Insiders
While some people are at ease with opening conversations with people they don’t know, it’s never a bad idea to boost your confidence with a little preparation. You can start by researching salary ranges and in-demand skills on job boards or by talking with recruiters that specialize in your desired industry or field.
LinkedIn is a great way to find people currently working in roles that appeal to you; reviewing their resumes might bring up some ideas for career paths and stepping stones. There are also loads of professional groups on LinkedIn that you can join. Many of these are highly specific, catering to school alumni, professional interests, or even people looking for jobs in certain regions. Target a handful of people who potentially can relate to your goals, and spend some time monitoring the group chats.
Plugging into the current activity on social media and in professional groups will help you surface hot topics. It won’t be long before you are brimming with ideas for your own compelling questions.
Connect with Someone in a Role You Want
Here’s Our Top 20 Questions to Ask Those in Your Network:
- What do you consider to be the most important qualities for success in this role?
- What have been some of the biggest challenges that you’ve faced in this role?
- What do you think are the key skills I need to develop to be successful in this role?
- What kind of growth opportunities are available for someone in this role?
- How would you describe the company culture?
- What kind of support does the company provide for professional development?
- What have been some of the greatest accomplishments of the team I’d be working with?
- What kind of feedback do you get from customers/clients?
- What do you think are the biggest challenges the company has faced?
- What kind of support is available to help me succeed in this role?
- What kind of opportunities are available to learn new skills and develop professionally?
- What kind of feedback do team members receive from their supervisors?
- How do you ensure that your team is motivated and productive?
- How does the company measure success?
- What kind of feedback do team members give to each other?
- What kind of plans does the company have for growth in the future?
- How do you ensure that team members are updated on changes in the industry?
- How does the company deal with conflict resolution?
- What kind of opportunities are there for career advancement within the company?
- What kind of training and development opportunities are available?
Extend Your Connections
The only place to start anything is, of course, where you are. Let those people closest to you know that you are in the process of finding your right fit in the career that you have been training for. There are a few ways to expand your web of professional connections on LinkedIn, starting with your current connections.
- Use the “People Also Viewed” feature to find mutual connections between yourself and someone in your field. Ask one of your contacts if they can warmly introduce you.
- Utilize the “Ask for a Referral” button when viewing someone’s profile, or send them a direct message asking if they would share an introduction with one of their contacts.
- Ask your friends, fans, and supporters, especially mentors and teachers, if they have any connections who might be able to help you in your job research.
Go ahead and get cozy with your warm connections; in part two of this series, we’ll dive into how to make friends with people you don’t yet know.
Equiliem (www.equiliem.com) believes in empowering success. It’s our job to cultivate relationships that connect people and employers in a way that is inclusive, intelligent, and allows both to thrive.
Across the U.S., leading companies in healthcare, government, light industrial manufacturing, professional services, and energy rely on us for their workforce solutions. Our recruiting and HR services include contract and direct hire staffing, Payrolling/EOR, Independent Contractor Compliance, and Managed Services.
Since 1995, we’ve helped shape our industry. Today, we continue to research, ask questions, and continuously enhance the candidate journey and client experience.