Outline: Networking Questions | Best Networking Questions To Ask – Casual – Career – Field/Industry – Company – Get Hired – For Recommendations – Wrap-Up | Networking Questions to Avoid | Considerations For Successful Networking | Networking Misconceptions | Final Thoughts
Are you looking to make more connections?
Networking is one of the best ways to meet new people and expand your professional horizons. In fact, networking events are some of the best professional development opportunities.
But it can be tricky – what do you say when you meet someone new? How do you make the most of your time at an event?
We’ve got the answers to all your networking questions. In this post, we’ll give you tips on how to make connections, what questions to ask, and how to follow up after an event.
Read on for all the advice you need to take your networking skills up a notch.
What Are Networking Questions?
Networking questions are designed to help you learn more about a person and their work.
Networking questions are usually open-ended. For example, you might ask a networking question like “What led you to your current field of work?” or “What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your work?” Notice that these are not simple “yes” or “no” questions. They’re designed to draw out stories and valuable information.
Most importantly, good networking questions can help you build long-lasting relationships. This will be useful not only in your current career but also in future job searches.
Now that we’ve answered the question “what are networking questions,” let’s look at some examples.
The Best Networking Questions To Ask
Casual Questions to Start A Conversation
- What do you do?
- Do you enjoy what you do?
- Where are you from?
- How did you hear about this event?
- Is there anyone you’re looking forward to connecting with while here?
- What’s your favorite book/movie/TV show?
- What led you to your current job?
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
- What are some of your primary job responsibilities?
- What have been some pivotal moments on your career path?
- What challenges do you face in your work?
- What does a typical workday look like?
- How did you get interested in your field of work?
- What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your industry?
- What are some trends you’re noticing in your industry right now?
- What do you think sets your industry apart from others?
- How would you describe your company’s culture?
- What are your organization’s values?
- What are some of your recent projects/initiatives?
- How has your company grown since you joined it?
- What do you see as your company’s strengths?
How To Get Hired Questions
- What helped you transition into this job/field?
- What skills and experience would you look for in a candidate for this position?
- Is there a specific type of person that is successful in this role?
- What advice would you give to someone applying for this position?
- Are there specific certifications that are important in your field?
Asking For Recommendations
- Are there any books/podcasts you would recommend?
- What are some articles you’ve read recently that you found interesting?
- What other networking events do you think are worth attending?
- Do you know anyone else who it might be worth for me to connect with?
- What’s the best way to keep up with your work?
- What’s the best way to get in touch with you?
Bonus: Common Networking Questions to Avoid
When asking networking questions, avoid anything that could be seen as rude, intrusive, or overly personal. For example, avoid questions about someone’s age, salary, relationship status, or health. You should also avoid anything that could be seen as controversial, like questions about politics or religion.
And finally, avoid generic questions that could be easily answered with a quick Google search. For example, don’t ask about someone’s company’s history or their field of work in general.
The point of networking is to build relationships, so make sure your questions are focused on the person you’re talking to.
Key Considerations For Successful Networking
- When you attend a networking event, be prepared to talk about yourself. Have a brief introduction ready, along with a few things you’re interested in or passionate about. This will help you start conversations with other attendees.
- Another important tip is to be aware of your body language. Make sure you’re standing up straight and making eye contact. It also helps to smile and be engaging.
- And when the event is over, follow up with the people you met. Thank them for their time, and let them know what you enjoyed about meeting them. If there was potential for future collaboration or if they shared any valuable insights, be sure to mention that as well.
Common Misconceptions About Networking
1. Networking is only for people who are looking for a job
While networking is a common job search strategy, it is also about making connections with other people, and it can be a useful tool no matter what your goals are.
Whether you’re looking for a job, seeking advice from others in your field, looking to learn new skills, or simply trying to expand your circle of friends, networking can help you achieve your objectives. And contrary to popular belief, networking doesn’t have to be an intimidating or self-promotional activity.
Simply striking up a conversation with someone new can be a great way to network. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and start meeting people. You never know who you’ll meet or what opportunities might arise.
2. Networking is about collecting as many business cards as possible
While it’s true that exchanging business cards can be a helpful way to connect with someone, it’s not the only or even the most important goal of networking.
The point of networking is to build relationships, so focus on having conversations and getting to know the people you meet. If you exchange business cards, great. But don’t force it if it doesn’t feel natural.
You don’t have to be part of professional associations or attend networking events. Sometimes networking can happen organically over lunch with a collaborator or former colleagues. Again, it’s all about relationships.
3. Networking is only for extroverts
This is not true. Networking is for everyone, regardless of personality type.
Introverts can be great networkers too. They just need to approach networking in their own way. For example, introverts may prefer one-on-one conversations or smaller networking events. They may also find it helpful to prepare in advance by thinking of topics to discuss or questions to ask.
No matter what your personality type, there are ways to make networking work for you. So don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come naturally at first. Just keep trying, and you’ll eventually find a networking style that feels comfortable and effective.
Networking can be a great way to meet new people, achieve your goals, and explore opportunities for your career path. Remember, networking questions should be personal and focused on the individual you’re talking to.
When you attend a networking event, be prepared with a brief introduction and a few conversation starters. And don’t forget to follow up after the event with the people you met. Thank them for their time, and let them know what you enjoyed about meeting them.
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start networking like a pro.
So get out there and start meeting new people. The great thing is, you never know where it might lead!
Alisa Goz is a travel blogger and passionate life-long learner. Before starting her blog, Alisa worked as a non-profit fundraiser at top New York cultural institutions. She carries her passion for building community and helping people through everything she does. Join Alisa at AlisaGoz.com for the best tips and tricks for stress-free travel.