When I was growing up, if we had a friend come over for dinner my dad would do interview questions. One person asked the question, everyone answers and then the next person asks, and so on and so forth. It was a way for us to get to know the distinguished 10 year old and to keep the conversation going. Questions ran the gambit but they usually included:
- What’s your favorite TV show?
- What’s your Favorite Book?
- What’s your favorite movie?
- If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
- Who’s your favorite basketball player/team?
- Who’s your favorite parent? (kidding!)
I love the interview questions, and now that my friends have kids who are at a good age for this distraction from eating dinner, it still pops up on occasion.
Why am I telling you about this random family meal activity?
Because it holds up in business. A couple of weeks ago I arrived early for a networking event and there was one person to talk to. So, I sat down and started chatting, and quickly realized this person was not going to ask me questions in return. But they were pretty happy to keep talking about their self. So, I start the interview…where do you live? where are you from? kids? pets? favorite restaurants in town? did you go to the recent event that compliments this event we’re attending?
Sometimes the conversation does turn to pop culture, which always makes me happy. And sometimes it stays on business. Having a stack of interview questions in my back pocket when I’m networking usually means I learn something personal and interesting about this person that I’ll remember way longer than all the spewing about how they’re different from every other CPA firm in town…
What are your go to questions when networking to keep the conversation going?