Career Development Center|Loyola University Chicago

Career Development Center

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Networking Questions

Contact's Background

  • Can you describe your background?
  • What were the experiences that had an effect on your career development?
  • How did you become interested in your field?
  • Does your work relate to any experiences or studies you had in college?
  • How did college prepare you for this job?
  • Has your career progress been a planned, controlled process?
  • How much has it been affected by external factors? ... by chance?

Contact's Job and Career Path

  • What do you do in your job? What is a typical day?
  • What skills are particularly important in your field?
  • How would you describe the working atmosphere and the people with whom you work?
  • How should someone considering the field best prepare?
  • What is the necessary or recommended education or training?
  • What are the entry level opportunities in your career field?
  • What is a typical career path in this field or organization?
  • Is there any type of training program? What skills are necessary and what experience?
  • What personal qualities are shared by most of the successful people in your field?
  • What aspects of this field do you consider particularly satisfying?
  • What are the rewards, both tangible and intangible?
  • What are some of the more difficult aspects of your work?
  • Are these typical of the field?
  • What are some of the stresses and frustrations, and how do you prepare for these?
  • How do the satisfactions and difficulties balance out?
  • How does your career affect your life-style?
  • Time available for relationships and other interests?
  • Salary and benefits that support a particular way of life?
  • Impact of this field on being single? ... partnered? ... having children?
  • If you were to start over, would you choose the same path? ... the same work?
  • What major changes are anticipated in your field in the next ten years?

Contact's Company or Organization

  • What are primary goals and concerns of this organization?
  • What are the prospects for advancement?
  • Is that typical of organizations in this field/industry?
  • My stongest assets (skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits, values) are … Where would they fit in with this organization? Where might they fit in other fields? Where might they fit in other organizations?
  • Is there a basic philosophy of the company or organization and what is it? (Is it a people, services, or product oriented business?

Recommended Next Steps

  • Can you suggest reading material that might give me further insight into this field (organization)? What publications and professional associations are important to the field?
  • Whom else would you recommend that I speak to for advice? May I tell them that you suggested I contact them?
  • Can you suggest other professionals who might be helpful?