Found a mentor to help you on your career path? Check. Now what? Now that you have someone with first-hand industry experience in your corner, it’s time to absorb anything and everything you can. So, how exactly do you start to obtain that guidance? What are some good questions to ask a mentor? There are a few topics you should discuss with your mentor, including professional experience, personal experience, career development, and personal feedback.
Questions to Ask Mentor About Professional Experience
You likely selected your mentor in part because of their role in the industry you hope to succeed in. This is a great opportunity to not only learn more about the job position but also more about your mentor’s journey in the industry.
1. What professional experiences did you have that led you to your current position?
2. What skills have been most beneficial for you?
3. What should I be doing so I can start/advance my career?
4. What were some challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
5. What’s something you wish someone told you when you were at my career stage?
Questions to Ask Mentor About Personal Experience
As mentor and mentoree, you’ll need some time getting to know your mentor on a professional and personal level. Take the time to find out who your mentor is as an individual and what they hope to gain from mentoring you.
6. How and where do you find inspiration?
7. Why did you decide to be a mentor?
8. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
9. What can I do for you as a mentoree?
10. How do you establish and maintain a healthy work/life balance?
Questions to Ask Mentor About Career Development
Many mentors are often in some kind of leadership position or are valued for their authority in an industry. They’ve risen in the ranks and established themselves as someone to look up to. Find out what steps they took and see what aligns with your own path as you work to advance your career.
11. How do I create a career advancement plan?
12. How can I approach a promotion/pay raise with my boss?
13. What leadership skills do you find most important?
14. What do you do to continue to learn and grow your skillset?
15. Are there any habits that help you stay productive?
Questions to Ask Mentor About Personal Feedback
The mentor/mentoree relationship is all about personal growth and professional development. You’ll want to know what your strengths are and how to overcome any weaknesses that you might have. Your mentor can provide you with that insight as it pertains to your career goals.
16. What are some things that I am already doing well?
17. What areas do I need to improve upon?
18. How would you approach situation X if you were in my position?
19. How often should I ask my boss for feedback?
20. What are some tips to help me communicate better as a leader?
Haven’t Found Your Mentor Yet?
Finding the right mentor can take some time, but it’s well worth the effort. If you haven’t found a mentor or aren’t sure how, take a look at these tips.