Mentor – Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you wanted to know about being a mentor.

Please see some of the frequently asked questions on becoming a Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program Mentor.

Why should I become a mentor?

As a valued mentor in our Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program (KMP), you have the opportunity to:

  • share your knowledge about your industry/profession based on your own experiences.
  • help a newcomer in your field put their skills and experience to work for a Western Australian business or company.
  • motivate and support a skilled newcomer professional to realise their full potential in Australia.

In return, you will benefit from:

  • developing your own mentoring, communication and leadership skills
  • enhancing your cross-cultural competence by working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • improving your understanding of the issues and barriers experienced by newcomers in Australia.
What are the criteria for becoming a mentor?

You can become a mentor if you:

  • have worked for at least two years in your field/profession/industry in Australia
  • commit to a minimum of 23 hours of your time over three months for mentoring (18 hours of mentoring + 1 hour Mentor induction session + 2 hours of Orientation Session + 2 hours of Cultural Competency).
  • want to share your industry knowledge and contacts with others
  • are thinking about your professional legacy and what you will contribute toward your organisation and the people who work with you
  • have a National Police Clearance Certificate issued within the last 6 months. 
How do we match a mentor with a mentee?

Matches between mentors and mentees are made based on both participants' occupations, industries, preferences and goals. The mentoring coach selects a match for you based on the information you provide in your mentor application and will ask you for your confirmation. If you’re not sure that the match is appropriate, please let the mentoring coach know as soon as possible.

Mentees are accepted into the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program based on the criteria that they:

  • have a minimum post-secondary education equivalent to a degree
  • have international work experience in their profession
  • are ‘job-ready’ – this means they are ready to start a job in their field, in Australia, at any given time, and have completed a KMP job readiness (or equivalent) program.
  • have limited or no Australian work experience in their profession/industry
  • are currently unemployed or underemployed (i.e. not working in their field of expertise)
  • have full work rights in Australia
  • have lived in Australia for five years or less however, in this cycle we also have a limited number of positions available for migrants who have been here from five to ten years
  • have the appropriate English language proficiency to perform effectively in the workplace in their field. (Managers/professionals roles need IELTS Band 7 or equivalent, Technical/non-client facing roles need IELTS Band 6 or equivalent)
As a mentor, what are my responsibilities?

As a mentor, you need to:

  • provide details on your professional background and other additional information in your application so that we can best match you with a mentee
  • provide a National Police Clearance Certificate issued within the last six months. 
  • attend the KMP Induction session, Orientation session, Cultural Competency Sessions and the End of Cycle event. 
  • work with your mentee to determine their employment goals and set targets related to job searching, networking, professional development, etc.
  • seek support from the mentoring coach, if needed, for a referral to resources, troubleshooting, etc.
How long will I mentor for? How many hours a week are involved?

KMP program runs for three (3) months during which the mentors and the mentee work together for a minimum of 18 hours or approximately 1.5 hours each week. You can connect with your mentee through:

  • face-to-face meetings
  • online e.g. email, chat applications, Skype, etc
  • phone conversations
  • job shadowing
  • networking at events.

In addition, the mentors and the mentees are expected to attend the following sessions to reap the maximum benefit out of this program.

  • Mentor Induction Session (1 hour).
  • Mentor/Mentee Orientation Session (about 2 hours)
  • Cultural Competency Session (about 2 hours)

This is a total of 23 hours of your time over three months for whole mentoring cycle or less than 2 hours per week.

How will I be helping my mentee?

As a mentor, you can help your mentee by:

  • sharing your insights on your occupation or industry in Australia, which can assist them in preparing for their employment
  • providing information on employment and/or educational opportunities within your profession/industry
  • sharing your networks and professional contacts with your mentee(s)
  • supporting your mentee to develop confidence in a new society, workplace and culture
  • helping them realise their full potential and contribute to Australia’s society and the economy.
What kind of support will I get during this program?

KMP Team will be along with you all throughout your mentoring relationship to help your partnership succeed.  Before you start your mentoring relationship, you will take part in a Mentor Induction and Orientation Session to learn more about your role and responsibilities as a mentor.

You will also have access to online resources to guide you throughout your partnership. These mentoring tools offer great tips to mentors about how to best support their mentees. They also contain information for mentees to help them in their job search. You, along with your mentee, can select which tools will work best for both of you.

Our Mentoring Coach will also support your partnership by responding to your questions and concerns and providing suitable resources.

What is the role of the mentoring coach?

The mentoring coach provides support and resources to both mentors and mentees. Your coach will contact both you and your mentee on a monthly basis to check that your relationship is going smoothly. In the unlikely case that there are issues between a mentor and mentee, or if you need any help or information to better support the person you are mentoring, you can contact your mentoring coach. The mentoring coach can then help you with troubleshooting or providing external resources or referrals.

What professional development resources are available for mentors?

You can access the following professional development resources during your time as a mentor:

  1. Cultural-Competency workshop that focuses on building cross-cultural competencies and developing your mentoring skills.
  2. Networking events that provide an opportunity to meet new and experienced mentors, and exchange solutions and best practices.
  3. Online resources with information to help you in your mentoring partnership. There are four online learning modules:
  • e-learning module 1 - Motivate your mentee
  • e-learning module 2 - Produce standout resumes/curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letters
  • e-learning module 3 - Enrich your mentee’s networking skills
  • e-learning module 4 - Help your mentee master the job interview
Can I be matched with someone who doesn’t have a similar occupation or industry to me?

We always try to match you with someone who has a similar profession/industry to you as much as possible. If you feel your suggested mentee’s occupation/industry is not close enough to your own, you can talk to the mentoring coach before meeting them.  However, there are some occupational fields and industries where we have a lower demand for mentors. We encourage you to be flexible when considering a recommended match with someone who is waiting for a mentor.

Can I mentor more than once?

It would be wonderful if you could support another newcomer!  Repeat mentors bring the added value of learning and experience from their previous relationships. At the end of your mentoring relationship, we will contact you to ask if you are able to mentor again. Even if you are not able to do this straight away, you can let us know a date when you could take part, and we can get back in touch with you then.

How will I know if I’m doing a good job?

Open communication is the key to any good relationship. Throughout the mentoring relationship, you should be speaking to your mentee about whether or not you are fulfilling the joint goals that you both set out at the beginning. Your mentoring coach will also ask you to provide feedback on your progress and experience throughout the mentoring relationship.

If you are helping your mentee make progress on their employability, your relationship is successful.

Who do I contact if I have any concerns?

Throughout the mentoring process, you should be speaking to your mentee about your shared progress in fulfilling the goals you set at the beginning of the relationship. However, not all relationships are perfect. If you are in a situation where you would like guidance or are experiencing difficulties, please contact your mentoring coach immediately for advice or support. Likewise, if you feel that your mentee is not ‘job-ready’, your coach may be able to provide referrals for additional training or resources.

Do I meet with my mentee in person?

We recommend that you meet in person, especially for the first few meetings at the very least.

However, there will be times when online or phone communication will be more convenient and/or effective for both of you.

Where should I meet my mentee?

You and your mentee should decide where to meet. You could meet at your office, a coffee shop or a location that is convenient for both of you. We strongly recommend that all mentoring meetings take place in a public place. Meetings are not permitted in a mentor or mentee’s home.

You may utilise a local government library as your meeting point. Libraries are well equipped with meeting spaces, computers, printing facilities, etc.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us.

Become a KMP Mentor

We are continuously recruiting mentors whom we will match with mentees in our upcoming mentoring cycle.

Apply now