So this has the potential of being one of those controversial posts which might irk a few, but that is what I do best :)
I know this is a very intimidating time for a lot of us and I know because I’m in the same shoes. Here is what I have found though, a lot of people are searching for the “perfect questions” to ask and end up regurgitating them at events. That is NOT what you are supposed to do.
With all of us bloggers around and great websites everywhere, there is a LOT of information that can be used in a very positive manner. But more than giving you food to spit out when you get there, they are giving you food for thought. Rather than memorizing these questions, UNDERSTAND why they are good questions. It is absolutely ridiculous man, I have seen people at events ask one of these “perfect” questions and then have absolutely no way of keeping the conversation going because they did not plan that far.
One question will NOT make you memorable. A ton of unrelated questions will also not make you memorable in my opinion. The whole point is to have a good CONVERSATION, i.e. a two way flow of words. You ask a question, you listen to the answer and then you follow up with another question or some insight of yours.
What we are lacking severely is self-analysis. Most of us show up at these events with a bunch of predetermined questions in mind that we are ready to spew in to the face of the first person we see. We have no idea what our strengths or weaknesses are, we ourselves have no idea why we are so interested in becoming a CA or work for a specific firm and we have absolutely no idea how the world looks at us when we are talking. All this leads to us having no insightful questions of our own that we TRULY care about. Most of us have never sat down and taken a few minutes, hours, whatever to understand ourselves, our goals or our aspirations. No wonder we trip and fall all over the place.
We have been given ample opportunity to learn how to fish, but we spend so much time collecting fish from others that we have forgotten the need to learn.
Sit down, analyze yourself, assess yourself – see what you look like in the mirror when you talk, look at your actions, hear the words you use, feel your confidence! FIX THIS! Then go out and see what you need to do. The questions will come.
Don’t get me wrong, good advice can be amazing. I have used a ton of websites to get some crucial information but I have realized that all I am doing is creating a building over a weak foundation. If you are better at this than me, then all the power to you. But I urge all of you to take a long hard look at yourself and fix yourselves. It will all go much smoother.