We talk a lot about the importance of networking, but often time, we aren't sure what questions we should ask. In his book, "Networking Like a Pro," Brian Hilliard makes several pertinent points about networking and the conversations that go with it. This is why I prefer to have a coffee chat — a more personal alternative to the chaos that is mass-scale networking. 5 comments. First, during most conversations, people like to talk more about themselves than others. Q: Do you know anyone hiring that I should take a look at? “I met with ______ who works at _______, and they suggested that this would be a great meetup for me to attend because of ________ reason.” The next person you are speaking to may know this person, thus giving you some rapport-by-translation throughout the conversation. Q: You have been so helpful, is there anyone else you think I should chat with? This question is useful for a few different reasons: Q: Could you tell me a bit more about your day-to-day responsibilities at your company (or on your team)? Asking the Right Networking Questions Over Coffee - YouTube Networking over coffee is about building a relationship with the other person, not giving them your resume. Whether you fall into the former bucket or the latter, it really doesn't matter, because practice and preparation are always essential inputs for anyone looking to acquire the outputs of networking (rapport, exposure, job leads, industry knowledge, etc…). Keep your spirits up, be polite, and ask what you need to. Here are five fail-safe questions that work in just about any context. And if you ask questions that are too detailed you might not learn anything valuable. Avoid the morning coffee rush like the plague, and try to avoid the lunch rush, too, while you’re at it. Here are a few examples of the positive inputs that you will need to have a successful outcome: Unsuccessful meetings come in a lot of different forms as well. Remember, everyone’s career trajectory is different. Having a middleman makes the process easier since you have someone to vouch for you. Networking events allow for any number of conversations—and you can always follow up with more nitty-gritty questions about opportunities for promotion, pay or professional development. An easy route to go is to periodically follow up on social media with a tweet or a comment on a LinkedIn post. If you are meeting with someone with the true spirit of networking in mind, flat out asking for a job is a no-go. Lastly, formulate your questions for this person and write them down. Understandably, you want to reach out, but before you press that “Send” button, do your research. The biggest hurdle is making sure what you say is clear, concise, and specific. If you’re looking to follow up, be sure to make your email short (one or two sentences), pleasant (drop the “you forgot to email me back!” stuff), and specific (“I emailed you last week about meeting because…”). Let's go through the top 8 questions we recommend asking at the end of consulting interviews. Less formal interviews and coffee meetings allow the candidate the opportunity to ask many questions about potential job openings, information about the company, and even career advice. Even if your meeting guest isn't aware of any opportunity right now, you may be surprised by the amount of people who will follow up with you as soon as they hear of an opportunity that could be appropriate for your skill set/desires. Getting this advice from a few different people will help you understand what you should be doing, what you should be expecting, and provide you with information that you will soon pass on to the next person looking to network with you! Try and find mutual interests, mutual educational/work backgrounds, or even mutual locations. Being more reserved doesn't leave you destined to fail in this part of your career. How did you get to where you are now? Make your life easier by asking during your meeting if there’s anything the person would recommend you read, watch, or listen to to get ahead in your field (or get hired, or whatever it is you’re trying to do). Provide no context to the conversation. Don’t be boring: put yourself in the shoes of the consultant conducting the coffee chat. If you are running behind, send them a message ASAP and give them an accurate ETA. If you keep these three major things in mind, you’ll be building those connections in no time. There are Insightful Questions. Ask honest, thoughtful questions that show an interest in their line of work or industry. If you found your coffee attendee via LinkedIn or email, be sure to remind them why you two are connecting, and what you are looking to get from their time spent with you (learning opportunity about them, their company, their industry, their career path, etc). Mar 24, 2017, 21:02 IST. We all feel like we could be doing more, maybe looking at others who were in our class, or others with similar backgrounds. If you ask questions that are too generic your interviewer might think that you haven't really prepared questions in advance. But start with these to get the richest, deepest perspective on the person you’re talking with. Having more specific questions about the person, you’ll … I would love to grab coffee with you sometime to really hear your thoughts on [add one sentence explaining what you specifically need]. VFS Digital Design/Flickr. From annual reviews to continuous assessment, the format and nature of feedback can enthuse or disengage an employee. It can be a bit jarring for someone else to receive an email out of the blue, so the more personalized yo… ), Pro-Tip: The whole purpose of your networking meeting is to get as much information as possible about the person, the company, and the technologies that they are are using. Any pro-tips for networking calls and coffee chats? LISTEN! When sitting down for a one-on-one meeting, your preparation will be key to leaving a positive lasting first impression on the person you are meeting. Your “when” will probably be limited by schedules, but if you have some leeway, try to meet up during off-peak restaurant or cafe hours. Aka not a warm connection. Need help on being politely persistent? This article focuses more on a different type of networking: The one-on-one coffee (or lunch, or happy hour beer, etc). Here are the three questions you need to ask to ensure it goes well. You want this to be a conversation, not an interrogation. I’d just ask the contact if he’s free for a brief chat and you can ask him questions on interviewing then. Taking advantage of a meetup/networking event referred over to you will look GREAT for a few reasons: Pro-Tip: Great question to learn a bit more about their goals, while also understanding a bit more about potential career paths can transition in the tech community. You can ask anyone to go to coffee with you, but if you're new to networking, I recommend that you start your coffee meetings with people you already … Will they start from childhood, or just describe their path from graduation to their current job? Apologize when you get there. If it’s a larger meal for whatever reason, both parties typically pay separately. I’ve definitely been in awkward (like, really awkward) situations in which a friend told me one thing and then did something completely different as soon as I made the connection for her. ), so there’s a good chance yours got caught in typical inbox drudgery. The following are some questions you may wish to consider asking when networking with individuals or potential employers. You are setting the stage to hear their story. Q: How should I be spending my time? A couple of items to have on you: Depending on why you’re meeting, it may also be helpful to have a resume, your portfolio, or other materials with you in case the other person asks for them. And an even more dreaded act to engage in (at least for most people). If you are prepared, this is a great opportunity to wow them with the “who you are” portion of the dance, better known as networking. You can check out her, Actionable Steps to Fight Workplace Racism, “Could you make this introduction?” email, “I know you’re a [job title], but what does a typical day look like for you?”, “What’s one skill you need for this field that most people wouldn’t guess?”, “Is there anything you wish you’d know about this particular field before you got into it?”, “What energizes you about working for [Company A]?”. Networking events make it easy to meet a variety of like-minded industry employees in one setting. 15 questions you can start using to have better, more profitable conversations when you’re networking at events. I know a lot of these conversations just involve people skills, i.e appearing engaged in the conversation, etc, and it's definitely an art. If it's an informational interview with a current employee before your official interview at their company, I ask: Q: What are some projects that your team wishes they could get to but can't find time/bandwidth for? But never fear! Plus, the leads they give you put you one step closer to networking into a job. Your meeting guest will most likely give you an answer and volley the question back to your court. So you arrange a coffee date with said person who’ll hopefully dish out some juicy career advice, and maybe even some work experience. It’s all in the question that you ask. Take notes on a few technologies that you are familiar with, while also taking notes of the technologies you are more unfamiliar with. In this video I tell you the ONE question you need to start a conversation at a networking event, it works every time. Social cues, phrases that could come in handy, essential questions to ask, best time to call, how to end the conversation, how to stop tripping up on words from nervousness, etc.? Pro-Tip: If you’ve done your research, you should have a fundamental understanding of what the attendee has done in their past and what the attendee is currently doing now for work. 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