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:
- What made you look for a mentor?
- What goals do you have?
- What skills do you want to work on?
- Why are these skills important for you?
- Why now?
- 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.
- What do you mean by …? – be in a listening frame of mind
- Do you have a particular speech you want to work on?
- Can you share a video of your speech?
- What do you expect from me (your mentor)?
- What kind of follow-up process do you want? (Email, reminder, regular meetings, send speeches …)
- How was this session for you?
- 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:
- Why do you do what you do?
- What mistakes have you made?
- What one thing that you still struggle with?
- What do you mean? – don’t be shy to ask for clarifications
- What would you do if you were me?
- What can I do better?
Basic preparation for the mentee before the first meeting:
- Think about what skills you want develop or what goals do you have for the mentoring process.
- Think of some particular questions you might have. You can also send them beforehand to your mentor.
Mentor and mentee at subsequent meetings:
- Both: Make sure you revise what you have previously discussed and continue from there.
- 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/):
- If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
- What would the title of your autobiography be?
- What was your favourite toy as a child?
- What’s an activity you did a lot when you were a child that you wish you could do more of now?
- Do you remember one of the first things (a pet, toy, etc.) you named? Why did you name it that?
- If you could curate a museum gallery, what would you put in it?
- What TV or movie character is most like you, and why?
- If you could combine any two animals, what would they be? What would you call this new animal?
- What was your favourite gift you received for Christmas?
- If you could learn to play any instrument, what would it be?
- Who’s your favourite person (friend, family member, etc.)?
- What’s something silly that made you angry as a kid?
- What superhero do you resonate with the most? Why?
- If you could have the life of any famous artist or musician (dead or living), whose would you choose?