4. What separates you from the competition?
This question gives a person permission to tout his unique abilities. Be sure to ask this question in a polite and inquisitive tone of voice so that it doesn’t sound like you’re challenging the person.
4a. What separates your business/company/organization from the competition?
4b. What separates your school from other schools like it?
5. What one thing would you do if you knew that you could not fail?
A truly thought provoking and inspiring question to ask. (You should ask yourself this question.) It helps and encourages a person to dream and when she revisits the dream there’s a chance that you’ll come to mind often. That’s powerful.
5a. What one thing would you do with your business if you knew that you could not fail?
5b.What one thing would you do if you knew you were guaranteed to succeed?
6. What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced in your business?
People love to share war stories, but seldom get a chance to finish them because others interrupt with their own stories.
When you ask this question resist the temptation to interject your own horror tale. Remember – “let the other person do a great deal of the talking.”
6a. What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced at your school?
6b. What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced in your organization? (e.g. Sorority or fraternity)
7. What significant changes have you seen take place in your profession/area of expertise through the years?
Great question for cross-generational networking because it allows a person to reminisce about the good old days. The following variations are good for upper classmen and graduate students.
7a. What significant changes have you seen take place at your school since you’ve been here?
7b. What significant changes have you seen take place in your major since you chose it?
8. What do you see as the coming trends in your profession/area of expertise?
This is a great follow up question to #7. This shows a person that his opinions matter to you.
8a. How do think your school will be different in the future?
8b. What do you see as the coming trends in your major?
8c. What do you think will change about your major in the future?