List of networking questions that can keep people engaged in a Work Conversation - NewBalancejobs
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List of networking questions that can keep people engaged in a Work Conversation

  Communication experts agree that networking questions are a great way to build a rapport and demonstrate interest in others while also gathering important information.  Communication events are the perfect time to expand your questioning skills.  By asking some thoughtful networking questions, you can learn a lot about the person in front of you, their field of work, and their organization.

  Networking is an excellent way to grow your professional network and meet new business connections.  Networking events make it easy to meet a diverse group of like-minded industry employees in one place.  Asking well-thought-out questions can help you gain valuable information during an event.

  Don’t hide in the corner sipping a drink.  Even if you think you are the shyest person in the world, take a deep breath and stand where people can see you.  Put a cute expression on your face, and don’t be afraid to smile when someone looks in your way.

What are the basics of networking?

  When someone comes to you – or is close to someone else – use eye contact, a smile, and a confident handshake as you introduce yourself.  You automatically make the other person feel comfortable!  When you shake hands, make an effort to remember the person’s name.  Say it out loud, then use it again during your next conversation.  Do not turn in your business card automatically.  People will only remember you if you take the time to start a relationship.

  For some people, communication is easy.  They love to talk to anyone – and everyone – they meet.  For others, it is not so simple.  Attending networking events can be challenging if you are not comfortable talking to strangers, but it is always worth trying.  Personal networking remains one of the best ways to keep your career advancing and get a job.  People are more likely to offer assistance to someone they know personally, and with a little preparation, you can form relationships with contacts who can help you.


  There are many different types of professional networking programs, and it is easy to find networking events worth attending.  Although it can be difficult to initiate a conversation or ask some networking questions when you are one of these non-extroverted people, there are strategies you can use to engage the person you are speaking with and keep the conversation moving forward.

List of networking questions that can keep people engaged

·         How did you hear about the event?

  Perfect opening line; simple, casual and the best way to create a common ground.  The only thing you know you have in common with your counterpart is your attendance at the event itself, so comment on that, whether it’s the speakers or the food, and carry on with the conversation.

·         Where are you from?

  This person can work wonders, especially if they have an accent that you recognize from near to somewhere you have a connection.  There is nothing that connects people more than being born in a certain geographic area to each other, so if you can communicate with them about something like this, the conversation will kick off at a quick start.

·         How did you get involved in [industry / company / project]?

  It’s time to get serious now.  You are here to network and that means talking about jobs and careers.  The easiest way to do this is to ask them how they are involved in the industry or company or (if you’ve done your homework) the current project they’re working on.  Not only will this give you insight into how to get into a position like theirs, but they will likely get more comfortable talking about something they feel comfortable with.

  They are effective because asking one’s opinion on their job makes them feel heard and valued.  You are implying that you view this person as a trusted, expert in their field.  Thus, he will likely feel invested in your conversation and remember you as someone who respects the opinions of others.

·         What recommendations would you give me regarding job search, books, classes, etc.?

  The idea is that the professionals you meet will at least provide you with advice that you can then use to advance yourself.  Sometimes powerful suggestions to help you plan your next steps or find reading material are worth as much as the introductions.

·         Who do you know in ______?

  Usually, you know what you’re hoping to gain from a communication event, so once you use some of the backward questions to break the deadlock and create a report with people, find out who they know.  It’s a little world, and your old high school friend might be friends with the hiring manager at that company that booked for you or for an interview next week.  Ask for an introduction or recommendation, and hope for the best. 

·         How can someone get their foot in the door of your company / industry? 

  Often the ultimate goal of networking is getting a new job, but going out and asking someone you just met in getting a job can be very upsetting.  However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take up the topic at all – you just have to do it scrupulously.  Even if they can’t help you directly, you will likely gain some valuable insights that will help you in the job search process.

·         What do you wish someone had told you earlier in your career?

  This is a great question to ask if you are talking to someone older than you.  It allows them to transfer the knowledge that they have gained over the years with you, as well as ego charisma. People feel more comfortable sharing their wisdom than they do their contacts, and both can be very valuable. Seeking to learn from others honors them and shows that you are investing in growth. It also shows respect and can make the person likable to you and deepen the connection.”

·         How do you spend your time outside of work?

  Networking is essentially about creating bonds with others, so don’t be afraid to veer into fun chatting.  Networking questions like this one help people open up, and make it clear that you don’t expect the interaction to be purely communicative.

  This type of question reduces the risk and also gives the other person an opportunity to discuss what they are passionate about.  It also shows that you really care about them as a person, not just what they do and how it can help you.

·         What is the best way to contact you / follow up with you?

   Ask this question, and you’ll ensure that you avoid one of the biggest mistakes that novice network marketers make.  Network marketers often make the mistake of giving away a batch of business cards without collecting any of them.  The only way to ensure that you can follow up with new contacts is to have their information; it keeps you in the driver’s seat.


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