People are working harder with smaller teams, and don’t have time for anything extra. The demands of work-life balance, leave time only for the most necessary tasks.
This means that when you are meeting with someone in person, you want to make most of your time together. It is helpful to ask your contact in advance how much time you have so you can plan accordingly. You can start by making a personal connection, and then move into the goals and objectives of the meeting, which should be well thought out and planned.
Arrive a bit early and play it cool if the person is late or has interruptions during your meeting. Things don’t always go as planned, and it is important to be flexible.
Being prepared and doing your research ahead of time will allow you to ask more specific questions about the person’s work, instead of starting with the open-ended “tell me about what you do.” Try to generate questions based on the company website, the person’s Linked In profile, or any notable work the person has done.
If there was a major change at the company, such as a merger or acquisition, ask what impact this had on the person and their role. From there, you can explore trends in the industry or at the company.
Additional Questions You Could Ask:
- What type of person does well in this field?
- Any additional skills needed to be effective in this job or role?
- What does the person like most or least about their job?
- Can the person put you in touch with someone who may be hiring, or do they know other good contacts for you to connect with?
Additional Topics to Discuss:
- Trade organizations and publications that you are both involved with.
- Potential referrals or contacts for the person.
- Trends in the Field.
- Ideas for Advanced Training or Skill Development
Finally, remember to send a thank you note or email within 24 hours of the meeting.