As the summer is coming to a close and internships are winding down, we want to talk about questions you should be asking your mentor! Mentors are full of useful information, stories, and connections! Maybe you spent the whole summer avoiding asking them anything- but now is your last chance! Continue reading below for some great questions!
Stories: People love to tell stories. Stories can help you get to know someone and learn about their career! Your mentor probably has a lot of stories if they have been in their career for a long time!
- How did you land your current role?
- Did you envision this is where you would be?
- Can you tell me about a difficult boss? How did you handle it?
- What is the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how is it valuable?
- Can you tell me about a setback and how you recovered?
Situations: Talking about real-life situations that have happened is a great way to learn. You can ask your mentor specific questions regarding the situations they have been through. Use this time to ask them about a situation you are going through, so they can help you navigate through it.
- I’m considering a career transition. What do you see as the pros and cons?
- What advice can you offer on how to progress in my career?
- How can I bring up difficult conversations with my boss?
- Who are the people in this organization I need to align with so I can achieve success?
- How do you successfully stay connected with key people who do not work in the same office or area?
Self-Awareness: Having self-awareness can help you improve your work performance. This can provide you with some insight into how others see you in the work place. Your mentor is a great person to talk about this topic with because they will tell you what you need to hear, but also give you advice on how to improve.
- Where do you see my strengths and what should I focus on to improve?
- How do you think others perceive me?
- How am I viewed by leadership?
- How could I have communicated my ideas more clearly?
- What do you see as some of my blind spots?
Skill-Building: Everyone has room to improve, even mentors! You mentor has most likely spent their whole career improving and mastering their skillsets. They are the perfect person to ask for specific examples and strategies to build your skills!
- How do you approach risktaking?
- What new skills do I need to move ahead?
- How can I become a more assertive negotiator?
- How can I become better at managing people who do not report to me?
- How can I enhance my public speaking skills?
Mentors can provide you with so many advantages. If you have a mentor, take advantage of it! Use this list of questions (and add in your own too!) to get as much information as you can. Soak it all up and take notes! The best way to learn is to learn through others.
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Read our article here to learn why mentors are a must-have!