Questions to Ask

You should develop basic questions about the career field to fit your particular knowledge and experience level. Depending on the interest and willingness of your contact to talk, you may have an opportunity to ask more specific personal, company and industry questions.

Here are some examples of the information you may wish to obtain:

  • What are the entry-level jobs in this field/organization?
  • What career paths are generally available?
  • What are the major responsibilities of these positions?
  • What skills and education are needed to enter this field?
  • What kinds of entry-level jobs or internships do you think are good training ground?
  • What do you do as a ...?
  • How do you spend a typical day/week?
  • Do you spend most of your time at your desk? Moving around the company? Outside?
  • What kinds of problems do you deal with?
  • What kinds of decisions do you make?
  • What are your major responsibilities?
  • What hours do you normally work? Is there much travel involved?
  • What is the job title of the person you report to? The titles of people who report to you?
  • What do you find most/least satisfying about your job?
  • What are the positive/negative aspects of working in this field?
  • Would you trace your own career path? Is this typical, and if not, what might a beginner expect today?
  • What are the "hot issues" in this field?
  • What trends and developments do you see affecting career opportunities?
  • What is the corporate culture of your company? Is it informal or formal? Do people work autonomously or in teams?
  • Can you give me advice on how to break into this field?
  • Are you active in any professional organizations? Are students invited to attend? Are student memberships available?