Questions To Ask A Mentor

by Tony Mormile

If you’re looking for some help and guidance in your career, then seeking a mentor can be an excellent way to do this. Mentorship provides a lot of benefits, helping you to develop both professionally and personally, allowing you to  build your confidence  and reach your full potential.

We’re here to help you get the most out of your mentorship. Take a look at these 40+ questions to ask a mentor that will help you gain the insights and support you need to boost your skills and take your career to the next level.

40+ Questions to Ask Your Mentor 

Whether your mentorship discussions are about career paths, career change, job searches, interview tips, personality development , or other related topics, the ability to ask the right questions is a skill that can be honed with helpful hints and practice.

We’ve put together some of the best questions to ask a mentor to help you tap into your mentor’s expertise and knowledge so that you can get the most out of the relationship with your mentor.

Questions to Ask a Mentor About Their Professional Experience

When you choose a mentor, you choose someone who is an expert in their field – someone you can learn from and feel inspired by. Asking your mentor about their professional experience can help give you some valuable insights into their career history and how they go to where they are. This could help shape your own career path or help you decide where to go next with your career.

  • What made you decide to become a mentor?
  • What are your core values, and how do they shape your mentoring style?
  • What have been some of the most important lessons you’ve learned in your professional life?
  • What motivated you to pursue your chosen career path?
  • What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
  • What have been some of the most difficult challenges you’ve faced in your career?
  • How do you keep up with the latest trends and developments in your industry?
  • What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field?
  • What are some common mistakes in your industry, and how can they be avoided?
  • How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional lives?

Are you looking for a mentor but don’t know where to begin? Check out our guide on “How to find a mentor that can 10x your potential” and advance your personal and professional development.

Questions to Ask a Mentor About Goals and Expectations

Setting goals and objectives is important for both your personal and professional lives. It can help you set a direction for moving forward, helping you to stay motivated while giving you a path to follow. Your mentor, having already achieved a number of great things in their career, will likely have some great advice for setting goals and work with you to set some of your own.

  • What specific objectives should I establish for myself?
  • How can I track my progress toward these objectives?
  • What are the most important skills or competencies I must acquire?
  • What are the most difficult challenges I will face in achieving my objectives?
  • What are the potential advantages of achieving my objectives?
  • How can I organize my objectives?
  • What can I do to ensure that my goals and values are in sync?
  • What resources do I have at my disposal to help me achieve my objectives?
  • How frequently should I review and revise my objectives?
  • How can I ensure that my objectives are both challenging and attainable?

With the support of your mentor, you can set some goals and objectives that will help underpin your career, helping you set a path to meet those goals.

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Questions to Ask a Mentor About Seeking Feedback and Guidance

Securing feedback is a constructive way of helping you grow within your role and learn more about your strength and weaknesses. Asking your mentor about how to seek feedback, as well as the feedback they can offer you, can help you learn a lot about how to move forward and improve some of your skills. 

Seeking feedback isn’t always easy, but with the help of a mentor, you can develop some confidence in this area and focus on improving your emotional intelligence, networking skills, and resilience.

  • How can I improve my current role performance?
  • What are some potential roadblocks I might encounter, and how can I overcome them?
  • Can you give me feedback on my strengths and weaknesses?
  • What can I do to improve my communication abilities ?
  • How can I hone my leadership abilities?
  • How can I build my self-confidence?
  • What can I do to improve my time management abilities?
  • How can I overcome my shyness?
  • How can I improve my creativity?
  • What can I do to boost my emotional intelligence?
  • What can I do to improve my networking abilities ?
  • How can I get motivated?

Your mentor can be very valuable in helping you secure some feedback about your performance, as well as help identify your biggest strengths and weaknesses. You can learn a lot about ways of seeking feedback, as well as how to accept and use it constructively to improve and reach your goals. 

Questions to Ask a Mentor About Career Development

Finding a mentor that you look up to and is in a position you’d like to be in yourself one day, can help you find someone to model your own career development on. From exploring the different career paths that are available to how you can achieve your dream job, asking questions to a mentor about career development can give you some valuable insights that you may not get elsewhere. 

  • What are some possible career paths I could take?
  • What skills and experience do I need to gain in order to advance in my career?
  • How to choose a career when I’m undecided?
  • How can I find my dream job?
  • What are the current industry trends and challenges?
  • How can I gain more industry experience?
  • What are some effective methods for improving my skills and knowledge?
  • What are the most important characteristics that employers seek in my industry?
  • What should I do once I’ve found my dream job?
  • How can I distinguish myself from other candidates in my field?
  • What are some of the potential obstacles I might face if I change careers?
  • How do I make a successful career change?

With their experience in their chosen field and industry, your mentor will have some interesting and useful information to share about how they go to where they are now, with advice that could help you reach your own goals. It can also be a way to find out about some of the challenges of your chosen industry, helping you to work out if this career path is truly the right one for you.

Tips for Preparing for a Mentor Meeting

Preparing for a mentor meeting will help ensure you get the most out of your time with your mentor. It also ensures you don’t waste their time. If you do some research in advance and come armed with some questions, you can help ensure the time you spend with your mentor is productive and worthwhile, and will hopefully lead to some actions you can follow afterward to continue with your learning experience.

  • Set Clear Goals – Take some time before the meeting to define what you hope to achieve through the mentorship. Set SMART goals for your mentor to discuss.
  • Do Your Research – Look into your mentor’s background, experiences, and accomplishments. This can assist you in identifying specific areas where you can learn from them.
  • Prepare Questions – Make a list of questions for your mentor. This will allow you to stay focused during the meeting and make the most of your time.
  • Be Open and Honest – Discuss your strengths and weaknesses, goals, and challenges with your mentor in an open and honest manner. This will assist them in determining how they can best assist you.
  • Take Notes – Take notes during the meeting to help you remember the important points discussed. This will also show your dedication to learning and growing from the mentorship.

A follow-up email to your mentor is also a great idea. You can thank them for their time, clarify any points that were raised that you’re unsure about, and even ask for some feedback on things that you’ve done as a result of your meeting. You could also propose a time for your next meeting and help maintain the relationship.

Tips on How to Ask Your Mentor the Right Questions

There are a lot of different questions you might ask a mentor, but it’s important that you ask the right questions for you. You should make them specific and related to you and your career to help you get the most out of your time with them. You may also want to come prepared with any follow-up questions you could ask if necessary. 

Your mentor is there to guide you and share their own views and advice, so it’s important to be receptive and respect the answers they give you. 

  • Ask specific questions – Avoid asking broad or general questions that may or may not be relevant to your objectives.
  • Be Prepared – Bring a list of questions prepared for your mentor meeting. This will assist you in covering all of the topics that are important to you.
  • Be Open-minded – Be open to your mentor’s point of view and advice, even if it differs from your own. Keep in mind that your mentor has more experience and can offer valuable advice.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions – Curiosity is key to learning and growth. It can challenge your assumptions or push you outside of your comfort zone.

There are a lot of different questions you can ask your mentor, and the questions that you choose can be related to specific challenges you’re facing, or to help you with your career more generally. Be curious and confident to help you make the most of your time with your mentor, using their knowledge and experience to help you forge your own successful career path.

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