Whether you’re finishing your degree, or near completion (congratulations btw!), you might be looking to gain employment. After COVID-19 changed the world back in 2020, including the job market, many individuals in your position don’t know where to start.
Luckily for you, the pandemic brought about change in many different aspects of our daily lives, one of which is an increase in access to virtual career fairs. If you’re at college, taking online classes, working from home or currently there due to ill-health; you have choices to get your name out there and work on getting a job.
Of course, we know it’s not always that easy—even virtually. In order to improve your chances of being hired during or after a career fair, there are specific interview tips and components to keep in mind. One of the most important is to know what questions to ask.
No matter if the career fair is in person or virtual, having a list of questions sitting in your back pocket is a good idea. If you start having a conversation with a potential employer, you’ll want to make sure you are prepared to get all your questions answered while you have their interest.
This article provides you with great information, as do our services offered through Everytalent. We help you prepare for a career fair and give you access to virtual career fairs, powered by our parent site, Everytale. Reach out today to find out when we will be holding our next event.
What Are the Questions to Ask at a Career Fair?
When it comes to career fair questions, there are two specific types that you might cycle between. You have basic questions and ones specific to a particular job.
No matter the organization, basic questions can help you determine if you want to work with the company or even apply in the first place. You can consider these generic questions to ask to get the lay of the land.
In no particular order…
How Does Your Hiring Process Work for College Hires?
This is an especially important one, particularly if you’re in college or freshly graduated. If you’ve been in very few (or no) employment positions before, you might be unaware that most of the hiring process is playing the waiting game. You will spend lots of time waiting to hear back from recruiters, but you can mitigate some of the anxiety inherent in this by having a better idea of the timeline.
Speak with a recruiter to get a better understanding of what the process will look like. Where and when should you follow up with your application? How long does it normally take to hear back from them? Even having estimates for these questions can serve to quell much of the anxiety that is part and parcel of job applications.
What Career Paths Can I Experience in Your Organization?
This is very much worth asking because not only will it give you useful information, but also show the recruiter that you’re willing to look ahead to your future. Keep in mind that you’ll find a mix of employment opportunities at career fairs, so each company might give you a different answer.
Some of the organizations there might have specific and well-defined career paths, while others might be more flexible. This can be good to know, depending on what your goals are—for example, if you want to end up with a career in management, you will want to establish if that’s a realistic expectation with the organization.
If I’m Hired, Will You Provide Training?
Findingut about options for training can help you determine if you’ll be a good fit with the company. The first job you get in college/straight out of college will be the initial stepping stone in your career and any training could potentially be of huge benefit to you. It will also indicate to recruiters that you’re interested in staying with them for the long- term and that you hope to receive training that will make you a better employee.
This is one of the best questions to ask at a job fair and could be the deciding factor between multiple opportunities if you happen to get several job offers at once. o
What is the Office Culture Like?
Office culture is an important element of any job. If you can’t align with the culture, you might not be a good fit with the company. The culture (and importance a company places on it) will vary. While you may not yet know what type you’ll work best in, it’s also quite possible that you already have an idea of your needs.
Knowing how the office culture works can be a large factor in whether you decide to proceed with an application or not.
How Can I Increase My Chances of Receiving a Job Offer?
You might feel as if this is a brazen question to ask, but it’s a good one to know, especially if you hope to apply to a specific company. If you think you’ll be a good fit, then there’s no harm in asking what you can do to give yourself the best chance.
If you have a resume on hand, you can show it—if the recruiter is willing—and ask for some advice! The recruiter might give you options to change things around, or they may tell you to apply to multiple positions. Listen closely to what the recruiter tells you and go from there when you apply.
More Specific Questions About the Role
If the conversation is going well and you’re thinking that you want to apply to the company, it’s best to make sure you know what you’re getting into for your prospective role. Learn about questions you can ask to nip uncertainties in the bud:
What Does Success Look Like In This Role?
Having a good idea of what the recruiter and employee will require of you in the position is the bare minimum you should expect to have information-wise. In other words, you’ll want to make sure that you have the skills they’re looking for. Not only will knowing this prevent you from wasting time, but also help you decide if you want to apply.
Is Innovation Frowned Upon or Applauded?
You can ask this question as part of the role or in a larger space within the organization. If the recruiter tells you that creation and innovation are frowned upon, you’ll know that the company has specific ideas for what their dream employee will bring to the table.
Depending on what type of person you are, this can be an indicator as to whether you’ll have a good chance of receiving the position should you apply, and if it’s a good fit for you.
Ask About Their Experience
This can be a good question to ask at a job fair, even if the recruiter isn’t in a position similar to the one you’d be applying for. One of the main goals when you go to a job fair is to use it as a starting line for long-term relations with a specific company. You can ask them about what they do or don’t like about the place and learn about roadblocks they came across when starting there.
Although they’ll be doing what they can to spin the company in the best light to get more applicants, you can read between the lines to see what working there might be like.
Show That You’ve Done Your Homework
If you decide that there is one or a number of companies at a career fair that you would potentially like to work for, it’s essential that you do your research. This will show to the recruiters that you have taken the time to learn about their products, services, or other news that you’ve come across and are genuinely interested in.
Check out the company’s blog, team, and latest stories. Asking questions (or being able to answer them) specific to a company will make a positive impression. Showing that you’re actively involved in the company outside of potentially getting a job can make you memorable to recruiters and increase your chances of landing a job down the road.
There are thousands of questions you can ask at a career fair that can help you land a job fresh out of college. However, you must make sure to prepare properly to make the most of your time and know the right questions to ask a recruiter.
Using our Everytalent software is the ideal place to start. We offer guides and industry-driven research about the best ways to present yourself at a career fair so that you give yourself every chance of landing your dream job.
We also offer virtual career fairs, so not only can we provide you with the means to leave a positive impression, but also give you access to recruiters and companies who might be specifically looking for someone like you.