3 Networking Questions You Should Never Ask

Networking Questions You Should Never Ask

Remembering that the goal of networking is to establish relationships in your job search. To help you achieve your objective, steer clear of these three networking no-no’s.

1. “Do you like your job?” (or any closed-ended question)
Closed-ended questions can stop a conversation cold when the person responds with a “yes,” “no” or other quick response. Cue the chirping crickets.

Open-ended questions are a better alternative because they get the person talking — and most people love talking about themselves. Make sure you listen up: Asking follow-up questions will show you’re interested in the conversation.

Open-ended questions usually begin with “How?” or “What?” For example, instead of asking, “Do you like your job?” ask, “What do you like about your job?”

2. “Could you do __________ for me?”
When networking, you should never ask for favors more than you offer them. Networking isn’t always about getting stuff for you, although you network with the goal of winning over a connection or landing a job. The process never involves being a burden on or using others.

Instead of asking for a favor, ask, “What can I do for you?” Your potential connection will appreciate the gesture and may even later tell you about a job or opportunity that could lead to one. If not, your concern for others will still help establish a good reputation.

3. “Do you have a job for me?”
When networking, never ask for a job. Instead, ask for information that will help you in your job search. When you ask for a job specifically, you put the person in an awkward position because not only does he not know you very well yet, but he may not know of any opportunities for you either.

Instead of asking for a job, talk about your background and offer her something useful: Share your industry knowledge in some way or offer to help out with a project. Sure, the potential connection may know that you’re looking for a job, but by contributing to something important to her, you leave a good lasting impression.

Have you ever been put in an awkward position while networking? Let us know in the comments section.

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Tags: Networking