Prepare for your Mentor Meeting: Questions and Best Practices

Question ideas for mentees (to ask mentors)

  • What courses / books / resources have made an impact on your career?
  • What’s some leadership advice you’d share with another manager? Maybe an early lesson or mistake you learned from?
  • How do you measure your goals / professional development?
  • What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
  • How do you overcome feelings of doubt or imposter syndrome?
  • What are your expectations for me? How often would it be ok for me to check in with you?

Tips for your next mentor meeting

Here are our top 5 tips to implement for your next mentorship meeting:

1 Prepare in advance

Preparation is key for these meetings to be effective. As a mentor and a mentee, make sure you prepare in advance! The mentee should prepare the meeting agenda and send it ahead of time. They should also do their homework to understand the professional background of their mentor and understand where their mentor’s specialties lie. Make sure to prepare some questions for your mentor so that you can make the most out of your discussion. As a mentor, it’s also important that you prepare some questions for the employee so that you can understand how to best guide them and act as a role model to them.

2 Set milestones and objectives

The mentee and mentor need to collaborate in order to set some goals that you can work towards collectively. The mentee should highlight which areas they would like to develop and the mentor should think about how they can best support and guide the employee towards reaching their career development goals. This is a great way to track progress and to realign on tangible actions that can be made towards achieving milestones at each mentor meeting.

3 Mentees: Be open to constructive feedback

It’s crucial that as a mentee, you’re open to constructive criticism and feedback. Remember that your mentor has your best interest at heart and is putting a lot of time and energy into helping you realize your goals. Any kind of feedback that you receive is for your own benefit. You may not always agree with the feedback, but simply take note and consider it openly. While some feedback may not resonate with you, a lot of feedback will provide valuable guidance.

4 Mentors: Set expectations for your mentorship

As a mentor, make sure that you’re setting expectations for your mentorship. Clearly explain that the mentee needs to take the initiative and put in the work if they want to see results and if they want to progress in their careers. Ensure that the mentee knows to come prepared to each meeting and is in the habit of sending the meeting agenda to you in advance, so that you are both prepared to have a productive and efficient conversation.

5 Follow through and follow up

In the mentor-mentee relationship, it’s important that you both hold each other accountable. This means following up on previous discussions. You can create action items at the end of each meeting and assign them to one another so that you are tracking the more tangible tasks. This is a great way to follow through on plans that you’ve made together and follow up on the progress of initiatives previously discussed. It’s important that you are both willing and able to hold each other accountable and responsible for the commitments that have been made.

By Maren Gonzales
Maren Gonzales Communications Associate