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Mentoring tips and questions

(last updated: January 2020)

In this page you can find some basic mentoring tips and questions, in case you run out of ideas during your mentoring sessions:

The mentor can ask:

  1. What made you look for a mentor?
  2. What goals do you have?
  3. What skills do you want to work on?
  4. Why are these skills important for you?
  5. Why now?
  6. Where do you consider yourself to be with respect to this/these skills? E.g.: On a scale from 1 (min) to 10 (max) give a number.
  7. What do you mean by …? – be in a listening frame of mind
  8. Do you have a particular speech you want to work on?
  9. Can you share a video of your speech?
  10. What do you expect from me (your mentor)?
  11. What kind of follow-up process do you want? (Email, reminder, regular meetings, send speeches …)
  12. How was this session for you?
  13. What else would you like to do during these sessions?

In the beginning, the mentor is the one asking more questions, but it should not be a one direction process.

The mentee should also be active in asking questions. This way a good relation is established between the two people. The mentee can ask:

  1. Why do you do what you do?
  2. What mistakes have you made?
  3. What one thing that you still struggle with?
  4. What do you mean? – don’t be shy to ask for clarifications
  5. What would you do if you were me?
  6. What can I do better?

Basic preparation for the mentee before the first meeting:

  1. Think about what skills you want develop or what goals do you have for the mentoring process.
  2. Think of some particular questions you might have. You can also send them beforehand to your mentor.

Mentor and mentee at subsequent meetings:

  1. Both: Make sure you revise what you have previously discussed and continue from there.
  2. Check what the mentee has done, what other new/forgotten questions he/she might have.

Funny questions for networking and mentoring (taken from https://mentorloop.com/blog/25-mentorship-questions/):

  1. If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
  2. What would the title of your autobiography be?
  3. What was your favourite toy as a child?
  4. What’s an activity you did a lot when you were a child that you wish you could do more of now?
  5. Do you remember one of the first things (a pet, toy, etc.) you named? Why did you name it that?
  6. If you could curate a museum gallery, what would you put in it?
  7. What TV or movie character is most like you, and why?
  8. If you could combine any two animals, what would they be? What would you call this new animal?
  9. What was your favourite gift you received for Christmas?
  10. If you could learn to play any instrument, what would it be?
  11. Who’s your favourite person (friend, family member, etc.)?
  12. What’s something silly that made you angry as a kid?
  13. What superhero do you resonate with the most? Why?
  14. If you could have the life of any famous artist or musician (dead or living), whose would you choose?