Questions you could ask your mentor

Questions you could ask your mentor

Signed up for RSM MentorMe? Wondering if you’re ready for your first consultation? Here are tips from the RSM MentorMe Team for getting the most out of it.

We’ve put together some general tips, tips for your first consultation, and questions you could ask your mentor if you are interested in finding out how to find a similar job or role in the same company or industry.

Good luck!

  • General tips for mentees

    General tips for mentees:

    1. Initiate. Ask your mentor questions, let your mentor know your educational and professional interests and objectives, and ask about your mentor’s experiences. Taking the initiative to ask helps to sustain the mentoring relationship – don’t be shy.

    2. Help Your Mentor Help You. Come well prepared to each scheduled meeting. Tell your mentor how they can be most helpful to you. Know what you want to ask, be aware of what you need.

    3. Ask. Identify what you need to know, and have some questions prepared. You could ask general questions about your mentor’s industry, or about their job, the company, or their professional background and career path.

    4. Commit. Your mentor has a busy job, but has volunteered to take time for mentoring. Please be appreciative of your mentor’s time and effort; that means responding in a timely manner to your mentor's emails or messages.

    5. Expect Support, Not Miracles. You can expect a certain level of support and advice from a mentor, but they can't solve your problems for you. Perhaps the most valuable quality a mentor can offer is an alternative point of view and to suggest steps forward.

    6. Follow up. When you decide to act on your mentor’s suggestions, act in a timely manner and report back to them. Send written thank you notes to anyone your mentor arranges for you to meet or talk to.

  • Tips for your first consultation:

    Think about:

    • What do you expect from this mentor?
    • How often would you like to connect?
    • What is your preferred method of communication (i.e. RSM MentorMe tools, telephone, email, Skype, in person)?
       

    Get to know your mentor. You could ask:

    • Have you had a mentor of your own before? Have they been a mentor for someone else before? What did you learn from your experience of mentoring?
    • Tell me about your RSM experience. What did you like best about it? What was the most useful part of it?
    • How did you transition from business school to the professional world?
    • Would you be willing to review my resume, cover letter, or help me practice my interview skills?
    • You could ask about a current event or issue in your field of interest.
    • May I keep in touch with you and let you know my progress?
  • Questions if you are interested in the same job, company or industry as your mentor:

    • Same job:
      • How did you find your job?
      • What does your typical day look like?
      • What are your tasks and responsibilities?
      • What technical and soft skills are required?
      • What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
    • Same company:
      • What is it like within the company?
      • What do you like most about the company you work for?
      • What makes this company different from its competitors?
      • Do you think the company is a good fit for me?
    • Same industry:
      • What is the one skill I should learn to make myself more marketable in this industry?
      • Who are the most important people, or what are the most important brands and companies in the industry?
      • What are the most recent developments in the industry?
      • Do you think I have the right education and/or experience to work in this industry?