10 Questions You Need to Ask

So you’ve started to narrow down a list of potential careers. Now what?

Enter the “industry interview.” This is where you talk to people who work in your selected field(s) to find out what it’s really like. These first-person accounts are vital to helping you get a feel for the realities and requirements of the job.

Start by cold-calling local businesses. Introduce yourself and tell them that you’re interested in working in their field and would like to speak with someone about their experiences.

Once you’ve got an interview lined up, here’s what to ask. (Remember, most people enjoy talking about themselves, so just give them the opportunity.)

  1. What’s a typical workday like for you?
  2. What are starting salaries like, and what is the earning potential?
  3. What has surprised you or turned out differently than you expected?
  4. What education or training is needed to enter this career?
  5. What books or individuals have made significant impacts on your field?
  6. What do you like most about your job? What do you least enjoy?
  7. What kind of professional development is required?
  8. Which “soft skills” are most helpful or appreciated in this position?
  9. What keeps you motivated on a tough day?
  10. What advice can you give me that you wish someone had given you?

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