Networking | Conversation Openers

Networking is about building long-term professional relationships. But it isn’t any more complicated than engaging in excellent conversations by utilizing listening skills and offering genuine interest in the person.

Here’s a few tips.

Occupational Field

What advice would you give to someone considering entering this field or occupation? What do you know now, that you wished you knew as a student?

How long have you worked for this organization?

What are your major responsibilities?

What are the toughest problems you must deal with? What do you find most rewarding about the work itself?


What obligations does your workplace upon you, outside of the ordinary work week? Do you enjoy these obligations?

How much flexibility do you have in terms of dress, hours of work, vacation schedule, place of residence, etc.?

What are the most important forms of compensation in your work other than salary (e.g. bonuses, commissions, pensions, security, insurance, vacation time)?

Career Future & Alternatives

If things develop as you’d like, what sort of ideal career do you see for yourself? How would you describe or estimate future prospects or growth in your field?

If the work you do was suddenly eliminated, what different kinds of work do you feel that you could do?

What types of employers hire people with your background?

What are some representative job titles?

Job Searching

If you were to hire someone to work with you today, what factors would be most important in your hiring decision and why?

How do people find out about these jobs?

Are they advertised online (which sites?), by word-of-mouth (who spreads the word?), by the Personnel Office? Or other methods?

How does one move from position to position?

Do people normally move to another organization (company, division), or do they move up in the organization (company, division)?