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Questions to Ask at a Networking Meeting

By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC

Many people are uncomfortable with networking and may not know what to say. Clients often inquire as to “What kinds of questions they should ask” at one-on-one networking meetings. To address this concern, here are examples of the kinds of questions that are appropriate and productive during the networking conversation:

About the industry:

  • What are the major challenges facing this industry today?
  • Is the field continuing to grow, or is it shrinking?
  • Are there too many or too few people entering the field?
  • How frequently do layoffs occur?
  • Why do people leave this industry?

About the work:

  • Can you describe a typical workday at your organization?
  • What skills are required in your position?
  • What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
  • How would you describe the corporate culture where you work?

Skills and experience:

  • What educational preparation would you recommend to advance in this field?
  • What qualifications do you seek in a new hire?
  • How do most people enter this profession?
  • What do you think my experience would qualify me for in this industry?
  • What companies do you think I should target, in addition to the ones I’ve already listed?


  • Do you think my objective is clearly stated?
  • How well do you think I would fit-in with this kind of company?
  • What personal attributes are essential for success in this field?

Money and advancement:

  • What would be a reasonable salary range in this field for a person with my experience level?
  • What is the advancement potential in the field?
  • What’s the background of most senior level executives in this industry?

More information:

  • Where can I get up-to-date information on industry issues, salaries, employers, etc.?
  • What professional journals or web sites should I be aware of?
  • What other companies would you recommend I research?
  • Whom should I contact at other organizations?
  • May I mention your name when I contact Mr. _______?

In addition to preparing the questions you will ask, be prepared to answer some of the other person’s questions. Although a one-on-one networking meeting is not a job interview, the contact may have a future opening in mind, and may decide to take the opportunity to throw some preliminary questions at you during this meeting.

About the Author:
Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at

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