Building a Conversation Part 1

Building a Conversation Part 1

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Not sure what to say after your initial message? Michelle Winkley, a Heroes Linked Advisory Committee member and Chief HR Strategist with Talent Distinctions, has assembled this guide to help further your introduction and start a meaningful conversation on Heroes Linked.


“Getting to Know Them” Networking Questions

  • What do you do?
  • How long have you been doing it?
  • How do you like it?
  • What kind of projects are you working on right now?
  • What’s your favorite part of the job?  Least favorite part of the job?


“Getting to Know Their Field” Networking Questions

  • How did you get into this field?
  • What kind of education/experience do you need to get into this field?
  • What has your career path been like to date? Is it representative of most people in this kind of position?
  • What do you think the most important skills are for success in this field?
  • Could you tell me about one of the main challenges you face in this position?
  • What other networking groups or professional development activities do you participate in? Which ones do you feel are the most important to belong to?
  • What changes have you seen in your field in the past few years? Where do you see this field going in the future?


“Getting to Know Their Organization” Networking Questions

  • How long have you been with your company?
  • How did you “get your foot in the door” with your company?
  • What’s the culture like?
  • What does a typical day/week in your job look like?
  • How much autonomy do you have in terms of what you focus on at work?
  • What kind of supervision did you have when you were starting out? Now?
  • How is your performance evaluated?
  • What kind of professional development opportunities are available?
  • What makes your organization stand out amongst the competition?
  • Where is your organization headed in the next few years?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing your organization?


“Wrap Up” Networking Questions

  • If you could do things all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself?
  • What’s next for you in your career?
  • What advice would you have liked to have heard when you were starting out?
  • How would you recommend I “try out” this line of work (i.e. through a summer job, internship, volunteering…)?
  • What other fields or jobs would you suggest I research before making a final decision?
  • How can I help you meet your goals?
  • Would you like to keep in touch?


Michelle Winkley has worked as an internal HR professional and leader in both large corporations and small startups including AIG, PwC, Spot Runner, and MySpace. Talent Distinctions, with offices in L.A., San Diego, and New York, is a collective of talent management and human resources professionals with a specific focus on small to medium businesses,

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