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Examples of questions you can ask to learn about a position, career field, or industry that you are exploring:

  • What are your main responsibilities as a…?
  • What is a typical day (or week) like for you?
  • What do you like most about your work?
  • What do you like least about your work?
  • What kinds of problems do you deal with?
  • What kinds of decisions do you make?
  • How does your position fit within the organization/career field/industry?
  • How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
  • What current issues and trends in the field should I be aware of?
  • What are some common career paths in this field?
  • What kinds of accomplishments tend to be valued and rewarded in this field?
  • What related fields would you recommend I also look into?
  • How did you become interested in this field?
  • How did you begin your career?
  • What steps would you recommend I take to prepare to enter this field?
  • How relevant is your undergraduate major to your work?
  • What kind of education, training, or background does your job require?
  • What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
  • Can you recommend trade journals, websites or professional associations which would be helpful for my professional development?
  • If you could do it all over again, what would you do the same and what would you change, if anything?
  • I’ve read that the entry-level salary for this field is usually in the range of ______? Does this fit with what you’ve seen? (Don’t ask about the person’s actual salary.)
  • What advice would you give someone who is considering this type of job (or field)?
  • Can you suggest anyone else I could contact for additional information?

You can choose questions from the list above and/or come up with your own, focusing on what you would like to come away with from the conversation.