The best questions to ask will evolve from things you are truly interested in knowing (i.e. career preparation, work environment, search strategies, etc.). Review a sample list of questions below and consider having five to ten questions prepared for a 30-minute phone meeting. 

  • Can you tell me more about your career path?
  • What are the important skills required within your position? 
  • What is a typical day like for you? 
  • How did you obtain your entry level position in this field? 
  • What education is required for your position? 
  • What keeps you at your current organization? 
  • Are there any experiences you had during your undergraduate or graduate school time that helped you gain required skills or helped clarify your career path?
  • How did you know you were following the right career path for you? 
  • I am trying to learn more about xyz. Do you know if there is a professional association within that industry that I could examine? 
  • What is your favorite and least favorite part of your position? 
  • What do you think is the most important aspect to consider when choosing a career path? 
  • I plan on pursuing a long distance job search and I see you live on the west coast. Do you have any tips on how to make connections with organizations in another state prior to moving? 
  • I see your major is not related to your current field of work. How did you gain the skills to break into your current position? 
  • Where do you see xyz field going in the future? Are there any new technologies or forecasted growth in the field? 
  • Within the field of xyz there are many organizations that I could apply to. Do you have tips for evaluating organizations? 

Avoid questions that are personal in nature, relate to salary, or could be perceived as judgmental.