As a rule, you should not take more than a half hour of this person’s time, so you may not be able to ask all your questions. Remember, this is a conversation, not an interrogation, so let it flow.
Select questions that are appropriate for your target career field and stage of decision-making. You can ask about such topics as the nature of a person’s work, how to get started in the field, or effective approaches for the job search. Use some of the following questions or make up your own.
Questions about the career
- How did you become interested in this career?
- What is a typical workday like? What are your job responsibilities?
- What are the rewards, challenges and frustrations of working in this career?
- What entry-level jobs are available in this field?
- What experience is necessary to enter this career?
- What advice do you have for someone preparing to enter this career?
Questions about the organization/industry
- How does your position fit within the organization/industry/career field?
- What is your work environment like?
- What is the economic forecast for this industry?
- What is unique to your organization? Who are your competitors?
Questions about future growth/salary information
- What are the employment prospects for someone entering this field?
- What are some of the current issues and trends in this field?
- What is a typical starting salary or salary range in this field?
- Would you mind taking a quick look at my resume?
- How should I target my resume for your industry?
- Are there professional publications I should read or associations I should join?
- What other professionals in this field would you recommend I speak with for additional information? May I use your name when I contact them?
- May I keep in touch with you?
Do not be afraid to ask your own questions. This is your chance to get the information you need from an industry professional.