Attending a networking event is easy, but being able to network successfully is a different thing. And, most of the time, asking random and poor networking questions can ruin your chances to land a job, get industry insights, and generally connect with other professionals.
If you want to make a long-lasting impression, these 45 networking questions can come in handy even when you’re attending a virtual event!
What Is a Networking Event?
A networking event is a gathering or congregation of individuals or groups whose sole purpose is to network and expand their professional and business connections. These events can be arranged by universities, private companies, and even government agencies.
What Are the Advantages of Professional Networking?
If you think attending a networking event is a waste of time and just another useless thing to put in your resume, think again. When done right, networking events can bring a myriad of benefits to your career or business. As a matter of fact, professionals believe that networking is crucial and can elevate their chosen careers.
1. Build and Strengthen Connections
Are you trying to expand your career options and business connections but don’t know where to start? You should attend networking events because they generally target a specific niche and professionals.
For instance, if you are a start-up, you’ll find networking events catering to small to medium-scale businesses. Or, if you are a digital marketing graduate, you’ll find events for marketing trends, as well as marketing career opportunities.
Since other attendees share the same interests as yours, it’s easier to build and strengthen connections.
2. Access to Job Opportunities
Networking events like job fairs are an excellent opportunity to connect with hiring companies. Even if it is not precisely a recruitment event, you’ll most likely bump into an HR representative and even a business owner. All you need to do is ask the right networking questions, and you may land yourself a job interview!
3. Gain More Knowledge
A networking event is more than just handing your business card; It is also an opportunity to learn! Event organizers typically offer seminar and panel discussions wherein you can ask the panelists regarding the seminar, career advice, and more.
4. Get Career Advice
Networking event attendees are not all new graduates. You’ll more likely to bump into individuals that have far more work experience than you do.
5 Types of Networking Events Worth Attending
There are a lot of networking events that you can attend. You can go to conferences, networking parties, or even meet at local coffee shops. Here are some of the most popular types of networking events worth attending.
1. Job Fairs
In-person or online job hunting has never been easy, especially when you don’t know where to start looking. Luckily, job fairs are available.
Companies typically hold job fairs, but you’ll be able to find events arranged by your local city or municipality. This type of networking event is basically where you, a potential employee, connect with a hiring company. Your options are not limited, though. Job fairs consist of several hiring companies in different booths sprawled across the venue hall.
You can either complete an application form on-site or online. Of course, you can also ask networking questions, even salary-related ones.
2. Industry-Specific Seminars
If you want to attend a networking event aligned with the industry you’re currently in or dream of becoming a part of, look for industry-specific seminars. These events are attended by well-respected and knowledgeable speakers and have a detailed focus or topic.
The benefits of attending this type of event include getting insider knowledge on your future career path and learning important business and professional skills.
3. College or University Lectures
Most college or university lectures record the session and post it online. However, make it a priority to attend, even if it’s live streaming. With real-time lectures, you’ll be devoting your full focus and attention. Plus, you can’t skip to the summary of the lecture!
4. Roundtable Discussions
Roundtable discussions are often overlooked, but this type of networking event offers a myriad of benefits, including:
- A platform wherein attendees can learn from other peers.
- Moderators are available to keep the discussion’s momentum.
- You can openly discuss your point of view.
- Breaks down hierarchies
5. Conferences/Trade Shows
If you are in the business sector and want to connect with other businesses and customers, you need to attend a trade show. This networking event allows you to be aware of the competition, raise your business profile, and showcase new products. Of course, you’ll also have the chance to connect with suppliers and clients.
What Networking Questions Should You Ask?
Networking events are a great way to make some new connections. You can meet with potential employers, clients, and other people who can help you grow your career. However, it may be overwhelming if you do not know what to ask. To get the most out of your networking event, you should ask these questions.
Career Path Questions
- Is your chosen career fulfulling?
- What steps did you make to get where you are today?
- What advice can you give someone who is unsure of his career?
- How long do you plan on working in this field?
- Why have you chosen this particular job?
- Are there any things that you dislike about the job?
- Are you considering a different career?
Company-Specific Networking Questions
- Can you tell me more about company’s work culture?
- Do you have international counterparts?
- How long has the company been in business?
- Is the company experiencing any slowdown since the pandemic?
- What is the growth rate ratio as of date?
- Are there any plans of expansion?
- Where do you see the company after X years?
- What is the current trend in this industry?
- What is the biggest challenge facing this industry?
- How can I get involved with this industry?
- Which company is doing the best job in this industry?
- Which company has a good reputation in this industry?
- What are the best resources to learn more about this industry?
- Do you foresee any growth or decline within the industry?
Event-Specific Networking Questions
- Were you inspired by the speaker?
- What made you want to attend this event?
- What do you think about the question and answer portion?
- How did you find about this event?
- Is this your first time to attend a networking event?
- What do you think about the entire event?
- What have you learned so far?
Job Responsibilities Questions
- What do you do?
- What is your biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
- Do you manage a team?
- How do you like your job?
- If given a chance, what part of your responsibilities you’d rather not have?
- What is your typical work day looks like?
- Do you feel that you’re overworked?
How-to Get-Hired Networking Questions
- What skills or experience do I need to get the job?
- What do you expect from the new hire?
- Any insider tip I should know about so I can get hired?
- Is there a room for in the company?
- What do you look for in a potential employee?
- How long is the hiring process?
- What documents or certificates should I bring during the interview?
Networking can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be confusing and intimidating. If you don’t know what to say or how to approach someone, it can feel like a waste of time. However, if you keep these networking questions in mind, you will find that networking is easier.