A guide to being successful at the Careers Fair.
A conversation is a two way thing. If you don’t speak, then it is a presentation. Employers at the Careers Fair are not interested in giving thousands of individual presentations – they are there to engage you in conversation and to find out if you are the right sort of person for their organisation and they can only do that if you are able to express an opinion about their organisation and products.
Possibly just as important is the need to ask the right questions. The most frequently asked question is ‘so what do you do?’. I am going to take a wild guess that anyone that asks this question is unlikely to progress far in the company. If you want to stand out, come prepared with a few key questions – below are some examples that will get you started.
- What would my first two weeks be like working for your company?
- What are the progression pathways like after the initial graduate training year?
- What is expected of me and how will you measure my performance?
- What key competencies do you look for at interview/in application?
- What is the culture of the team that I am applying to?
- What is the management structure/style of the organisation?
- What is the staff retention rate of graduates over the first few years?
Questions not to ask;
- Tell me why I should apply to your company? – this shows a lack of respect, a lazy attitude and signals that you would be difficult to work with.
- What holiday/money/company car/expense account etc. will I be entitled to? – This implies that you are possibly applying for the wrong reasons. Certain sectors motivate by money, but I’m not sure you should haggle pre application…
- Have you got any jobs? – that is usually why they are there.
This is common sense. You need to remember that they are forming an opinion of you based on how you come across and the questions you ask. By spending a bit of time beforehand, you will stand out. I have seen people be fast tracked through application processes based on how they approach someone at a careers fair.
Check out who is coming to the Kent Careers Fair here