Showing a genuine interest in your partners during speed networking programs will help you to develop a solid rapport with other participants. Listening carefully to their introductions and sending nonverbal cues that show you understand what they are saying will be an important step in this process.
Another key will be asking questions, like the following, which draw out your partners and show that you are tuned into them and engaged. Here are some sample questions to ask during a speed networking event.
Sample Speed Networking Questions to Ask
- Based on what I've told you about my interests and skills, can you think of any roles which I might be suited for in your industry?
- What skills are most critical to success in the work you are currently doing?
- What is the most challenging aspect of your current job?
- You mentioned that your first job after college was as a financial analyst; how did you land that position?
- I'm intrigued by the work you did as an editorial assistant. What did it take to be successful at that initial job?
- You mentioned that you are ready to change careers. Which of your current skills would you like to draw upon most in the next phase of your career?
- What do you love most about your job?
- Is there anything you dislike about your job?
- What advice would you give to someone who is interested in your field?
- What areas of your industry will offer the greatest opportunity in the coming years?
- Would it be possible for us to meet for a more extensive informational interview at a later date since I am so curious about your work?
- What would you suggest that I do now to facilitate a transition into your industry?
- After hearing about my background, how can I help you move forward with your career?