If your eyes roll (and your stomach drops) upon just READING that word, you’re not alone. Many people understand the importance of networking, but they still dread it.

We get that – and we’re here to help! If networking intimidates you and you’re never really sure what to ask/talk about, here are 20 questions to keep in your back pocket:

Questions about their job/career path

  • What company/organization do you work for?
  • What’s your specific position?
  • How long have you worked there?
  • How big is the company/organization you work for?
  • Have you always worked in the XX industry?
  • How did you get involved in the XX industry?
  • What do you enjoy most about your current role?
  • Do you have any exciting projects coming up?

Questions about the event

  • Have you attended this event before?
  • How did you hear about this event?
  • Are you here with coworkers or did you come alone?
  • What are you hoping to get out of this particular event?
    • Or, what are you most excited about at today’s event?
  • Have you ever heard of this speaker before?
  • What other networking events/meetups do you like to attend/find valuable?

Other questions to ask

  • Are you from the XX area?
    • If it’s an event that required many people to travel, a good follow-up question could be “Have you been here before?”
  • What do you like to do outside of work?
  • Do you read much/do you have any good book recommendations?
    • Or, if you’ve read a good book recently, “Have you ever read XYZ?”
  • Would it be possible to grab one of your business cards?
  • Are you on LinkedIn/do you mind if we connect?
  • You’ve been so helpful! Is there anyone else here you think I should meet?