Making the most of a Careers Fair is all about preparation.
First of all, find out as much as you can about the companies you may wish to target. After all, it’s a two way process – the recruiters want to find suitable candidates, but you need to find a good fit for your skills and character. Here are a few questions to start you off, but allow the conversation to take its own course and be free flowing.
1 What’s the typical five or ten year path for someone who joins the company at this level? This shows that you’re interested in pursuing a career rather than becoming a job hopper, and that you’re prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up.
2 What skills do you look for in most candidates in “insert whatever position you’re looking for here”? This will give you an idea of the skills and qualifications they’re looking for. Mention you have something that they’re looking for and go on to ask more questions.
3 What’s the biggest challenge of the job? Listen carefully - see if you’re still interested – judge the skill set required and see what the job sounds like. By asking open-ended questions you’ll find out more.
4 What are the characteristics of your most successful employees?
5 What courses or experience would you suggest that a candidate needs in order to be successful?
6 What made you choose this company – how long have you been with them? This assumes that the person you’re talking to is an actual employee from the company and not a representative from a recruitment consultancy – be careful what you say! They’ll feedback all kinds of information!
7 What’s the best thing about the company? You’re looking for responses to do with career progression and development as well as the way that they look after their employees.
8 Has anything surprised you about the company? Bit of a random question so it’ll be interesting to hear the responses!
9 What’s the balance between individual work and teamwork at the organisation? You can judge what your preference is and see that there’s a balance that will suit you.
10 Finally combine these…Do you hire throughout the year or just at certain times when you have vacancies, how long is the hiring process – and what is it and what’s the retention rate of successful candidates onto a graduate scheme – this one’s important. You want to hear that successful candidates are nurtured and developed.
Remember to ask for a business card – follow up with a thank you email and see what happens next…
Good luck from the mybrink team!