Adapt and expand

It is important to give some thought to the questions that you will ask your contact when you meet them. You will want to find out more about their organisation and also seek out advice they can give you as a result of their own experience. Be sure to have researched the industry, the organisation and the job as thoroughly as possible before you meet your contact. This will help you to identify the questions you need to ask. Here are some examples:

- "Can you describe your current role?"
- "What are the most and least satisfactory aspects of the work for you?"
- "How have your reached your current position? What are the typical career paths in your field?"
- "What are the main lessons you have learned?"
- "Would you have done anything differently?"
- "What skills/qualifications and experience are vital for getting in and getting on in this career area?"
- "What is the range of salaries and rewards available at different stages in your profession?"
- "How would you describe the work culture of your organisation? Is this typical in your work field?"
- "How is your profession changing?"
- "What advice can you give me on &.(getting into this career, further research etc)?"
- "Do you know of any opportunities, in your firm or elsewhere, for &&(work placements, jobs etc)?"
- "Is there anybody else it might be useful for me to speak to?"

You can adapt and expand these questions to relate to your own objectives to improve your understanding of the industry, organisation and/or job.