Mentor and Mentee Questions and Tips

Questions and suggestions for mentees to share with their mentors

  • Check-in time. Discuss the goals you agreed upon at the outset of the program. Are you on track or are any adjustments necessary?
  • From your perspective, how is this mentorship going? What am I doing well and what can I be doing better?
  • If you're a sophomore or junior, discuss potential classes to consider for the upcoming semester.
  • If your mentor put themselves in your position as a soon-to-be Marquette graduate, what three objectives would they consider when seeking a full-time opportunity?
  • What did your mentor want to do after graduation and how did it unfold? What reinforced or changed their plans?
  • If your mentor wasn't in the career that they are currently, what would they be doing?
  • Who were your mentor's favorite Marquette professors? Why?
  • If your mentor could have done anything differently at Marquette with respect to career preparation, what would it have been?
  • Did your mentor attend graduate school? Why or why not? What advice can they offer you?
  • What were the first five years following graduation like for your mentor? Did they move to a different area or change jobs, have a new group of friends, or begin, continue or end a serious relationship? Volunteer? Did those years unfold as they anticipated? What advice can they offer for your post-Marquette journey? 
  • In your mentor's opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of accepting your first job after graduation in your hometown?
  • How does your mentor instill confidence and support in a new employee?
  • Follow up on advice and suggestions that your mentor provides.
  • Does your mentor have any career-related resolutions for 2018? If so, how do they plan to accomplish them?
  • What professional development books does your mentor recommend?
  • What’s been the biggest professional challenge your mentor has faced? How was it addressed, what was the outcome and what was learned? Looking back, would they have done anything differently?
  • Work/life balance is important. What does your mentor enjoy doing during non-work hours? How did they get interested in those activities and what has it taught them?
  • What's on your mentor's bucket list?
  • What types of skills does your mentor look for in a potential hire?
  • Does your mentor have a mentor? If so, what have they learned from them?
  • How does your mentor encourage innovation at your workplace?
  • What's the best job your mentor has ever had? Why?
  • What's the worst job your mentor has ever had? What did it teach them?
  • Who was your mentor's best boss? Why?
  • Who was your mentor's worst boss and what did they learn from them?
  • In your mentor's opinion, why is it important to leave a former employer in good standing?
  • Google a topic which you may have discussed recently with your mentor to continue the dialogue. What are others saying? Do they differ from what you discussed?
  • If you haven't done so, ask your mentor if it's possible to schedule a mock interview with one of their colleagues, either in person, via phone or Skype. Many initial interviews are via phone or Skype, so don't discount them. There's no such thing as participating in too many interviews.
  • How does your mentor approach time management and prioritize their workload?
  • Ask you mentor why they believe it's more important to work smarter and not harder?
  • Why is networking so important?
  • Does your mentor travel often for work? What are the pros and cons of traveling for business?
  • Send your mentor a handwritten note thanking them for their support and service as your mentor.

    Questions and suggestions for mentors to share with their mentees

  • Check-in time. Discuss the goals you developed and agreed upon with your mentee at the outset of the program. Are you on track or are any adjustments necessary?
  • Ask your mentee if they're finding this mentorship beneficial. What's working well? How can you support them better?
  • What motivates your mentee? Is there anything that is holding them back?
  • What's been your mentee's toughest class? Why and what has it taught them in preparation for other courses?
  • Who has been your mentee's favorite professor? Why?
  • Who has been your mentee's most difficult professor at Marquette?
  • Where does your mentee want to be professionally in five, 10 and 20 years?
  • What's your mentee's dream job? Why and how can you help them get there?
  • Does your mentee know anyone else (family member of relative, friends or neighbors) in the major or career they are pursuing? What have they learned about the career they want to pursue firsthand?
  • Ask your mentee to share a job experience that was particularly challenging. How did they address it and what was the outcome?
  • What does your mentee consider to be their biggest success to date- at Marquette, a job they've held and as a volunteer? Why?
  • For mentors with a freshman, sophomore or junior mentee: What classes is your mentee considering for next semester? Beyond requirements, are there any electives you might suggest that will help prepare them beyond graduation (such as a professional development or business class)?
  • Regardless of whether they’re Marquette alumni, provide your mentee with names of your friends or colleagues who are in their field of interest. Invite your mentee to schedule an informational interview with them. Be sure to reach out to those friends or colleagues first to ensure they’re open to a dialogue with your mentee. It will help develop your mentee’s communication skills, confidence as well as expand their network.
  • If you're outside Milwaukee, is there a classmate of yours living in the area who they could meet for networking purposes? Even if they have a different major or career than your mentee, it helps build the mentee's network as well as their interpersonal skills.
  • To that end, students also appreciate connecting with a young alum (10 years or less since graduation) in their field to get their perspective. If possible, arrange an opportunity like this, too.
  • Ask a friend or colleague to do an informational interview in person or via phone or Skype. It will help them develop their interview skills and be in front of someone they've never met. After the interview, follow up with your mentee and the individual who conducted it? From their perspective, how did it go? What went well? Where is their room for improvement?
  • What are your mentee's future plans for internships or co-ops?
  • If your mentee lives near you or is planning to be in your area during spring break, make an effort to meet in person. Face-to-face communication builds relationships.
  • If possible, can your mentee do a job shadow for a day during break?
  • What keeps your mentee up at night?
  • Send them a handwritten note providing support or congratulations regarding a recent project, exam or challenge. 


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