10 Kinds of Questions You Should Ask at Career Fairs
Career fairs of job fairs are events where college students and other potential employees can meet with recruiters and find out more about certain companies and their openings. It is a helpful event for ambitious and motivated people, but it requires a bit of preparation.
They are organized in such a manner that companies arrange their booths and recruiters behind them are there to assist and inform job seekers about employment opportunities, recruitment processes, and other information.
These events are important as they give a chance to future employees to ask specific questions relating their skills and their development, company culture and potential employment. The recruiters are also available to instruct future employees on how to improve their resumes.
Since many people are often present at career fairs, it is of extreme importance to come prepared and represent oneself as an intelligent and unique candidate. You should dress accordingly and mingle through the crowd. Even if you are not outgoing, try to be for this occasion.
Moreover, it is crucial to study exhibited companies to show them interest and effort put in preparation upon coming to the fair. Furthermore, if you do not have an electronic platform of your own depicting your resume and professional experience, you should make one before the fair.
As the quote by Miguel de Cervantes goes “The man who is prepared has his battle half fought.” The other half includes putting that preparation into practice. You will learn about this in a little while.
Since coming to such an event is a way of presenting oneself professionally and intellectually, it is essential to be instructed before coming to the fair. The questions listed below will pave the way to your improved appearance at the fair.
1. WHAT EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND IS VALUABLE FOR THE COMPANY?
If you had previously done your preparation, you already know the answer to the question. However, they do not necessarily know that, which is why it can do you good, in most cases. When you finish reading this paragraph you will comprehend when it does not do you good.
Since you expect them to say that they need someone with your educational background, the moment of advertising yourself commences. It is one of the questions and reasons you showed up in the first place.
This question will give the recruiter the outlook of your previous educational experience if you manifest it in the right way, and answer you what type of knowledge is essential for a job in that firm.
It may sound a bit random to the recruiter since it is usually obvious what type of education is required for a certain position, and they might get the impression that you did not do your research. Because of that, it is vital to pay attention to the formulation of the question.
However, if you formulate the question in such a manner that you can insinuate the answer but simply want them to clarify it, you can seem more mature and bright.
Along with that, it is a chance for you to highlight your education and previous accomplishments at school or college. When you know the answer and ask them anyway, you are opening a chance to present yourself to them as a valuable candidate.
If you did not have any impressive extracurricular activities that are related to the company work, maybe skip this question.
2. WHAT IS THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS LIKE?
The recruitment process is different for every enterprise which is why this question is advantageous and appropriate. If there is no indication for this on their website, you should certainly ask them in person.
This is what some of the recruiters indicate right away or print on flyers, but others do not. Nevertheless, it is a starting point for anyone interested in the job and to them, it is crucial information.
The response will specify to the potential employee what they may expect, such as writing a cover letter, taking various tests and getting interviewed. For all these activities preparation is favorable.
In conjunction with that, the question is relevant to employees for their awareness and readiness. Also, it is relevant for the employer who will clarify the recruitment process at the fair to all the candidates who are interested and not by answering emails individually.
If the information on this topic is mentioned on promotional material or the company’s website, you should skip this question. Recruiters have to converse with many people on the fair and repeating what is already said is tiresome to them.
Your goal is not to drain them but interest them in your resume and application for the job. First, check their electronic platform and other platforms if available, and then decide whether this inquiry is appropriate.
Another aspect of this topic which is also important for candidates is the duration of the recruitment process and deadlines for the above-mentioned tasks.
3. WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED AND PREFERRED?
When talking about a specific position, it is principal that you have what it takes for it, meaning you should not apply just because you need a job or you prefer that one to the other. Being honest and fair to yourself and others is vital.
Be aware of your capacities and qualifications before applying to a certain job position. You should know your values and flaws and not be afraid to admit them. If you believe you would be a good asset to a company then talk to the hiring manager.
Before career fair, research companies that will be on display and go on their websites. Usually, there is a list of skills required from the employee and yet again you will know the response ahead, but ask them to affirm your values to them.
If yours are a match to those listed on the website, then you can also ask the recruiter to take a look at your resume and compare your capacities to the ones that are necessary for the job.
This question can show your interest and impartiality to the hiring manager as they will start a conversation with you about their employees and the expectations they have for them. About this, remember to turn your cellphone off before the fair and do not be late.
When asking this question you should not try to sell yourself to the recruiter and boast yourself. Instead, try to indicate your previous successful experiences and they will connect the dots for themselves.
Discussing your skills is a similar matter to the one concerning your educational background. Still, your practical skills are more valued when doing a certain job. This is why you should accentuate them more than academic ones.
4. HOW TO IMPROVE THE CHANCES OF GETTING A JOB IN THAT COMPANY?
There are always ways of improving ourselves and our skills. Presenting ourselves for a job position is a puzzle consisting of many pieces. Some of them encompass our visual representation, knowledge and talents, and other skills that recruiters may find useful for their firm.
Career fairs can also help individuals become a more valuable and appropriate candidate for the job. Those who are responding to the candidate know precisely what the enterprise desires. Thus, asking hiring managers this question is imperative for candidates.
On the other hand, asking this question may make you appear a bit insecure about the recruiters. They might feel that you do not believe to be the right candidate for them and that you need advancement in skills.
For this reason, you should be aware that the formulation of any of these questions is crucial as many of them may sound completely different than what you intended them to.
When this particular question is regarded, you may follow up with an additional question such as “How can I improve my chances of getting the job? Perhaps taking additional courses?”
Moreover, some companies offer training for their workforces. If you have the time and opportunity, maybe ask them about it. However, if the response is negative, you could ask them in what ways you could improve your skills and make your resume noteworthy.
This is how they will perceive you as hard-working, diligent and zealous for the position.
If you want to increase your chances of getting hired, you should know all about recruitment strategies.
5. ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVANCEMENT?
Unlike the above-mentioned questions, this one is showing to the recruiter your values straight away- that you are willing to be trustworthy and loyal to one company.
After the recruitment process which may be time-consuming and dreadful to hiring managers, as well as finding new employees ever so often, they want some sort of guarantee that it was not all futile.
This question has a lot of positive sides as it can profit both the recruiter and the candidate. The enterprise employers will identify candidates who ask this question as eager to take up a job at one enterprise for a long period.
On the other hand, it will give the employee insight as to what they can expect from working in that company. They can get informed about their possible advancement in five or ten years.
If there is a possibility for improvement of the company as well as of the professional development of employees, the company will succeed in attracting more candidates. Here you can see how each question is a two-way street. It informs the employee as much as the recruiter.
The candidate will understand profoundly what the company is like and what their plans are for future endeavors. Besides that, they will get insight as to how they can grow as individuals in their profession.
Respectable enterprise will allow you to cultivate your work and develop into a professional in your field of interest.
6. WHAT IS THE COMPANY CULTURE LIKE?
For almost everyone, social life at work is important because it does affect the professional aspect. It is crucial that employees feel welcome and confident to perform well. After all, we all spend eight or more hours a day in that surrounding.
It is not exclusively connected to colleagues and their code of conduct on work, but also about the rapport between employee and employer. You as a candidate want to know what the office hours are and whether they expect additional work from home.
Additionally, workplace culture is also related to the dress code and addressing between colleagues- whether you need to address them formally or not. You can also ask them if they prefer teamwork or individual work. All of these details are what you need to know before applying for a job.
Unfortunately, you will not always get the answer by researching at home. For this reason, career fairs are a great opportunity to get the clearest answer from recruiters who have experience working in that company.
If they do not reveal enough information, or make a lot of pauses during their response, they may be unsure about the company culture. You could specify questions by focusing on the diversity of characters, ways of communicating between colleagues and their mutual feedback.
In addition to all this, you should have in mind whether you are talking to the hiring manager from a large or a small company. You would get a better answer from a small company employer as they spend more time with all their employees and know them better.
7. ASK RECRUITERS ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE AT WORK.
The question above is somewhat related to the previous one. Workplace culture and employee experience are intertwined with one another.
On the other hand, individuals have different characters and likings, and that is why you should take into consideration the attitude of a person you are talking to.
By asking this question to your recruiter, you become closer to them and they may open up to you if you appear to them as a warm person. For this reason, you must pay attention to your body language when approaching recruiters. Smile more and nod when they answer your questions.
You cannot judge recruiters solely based on their answers- they might be exhausted or too biased while responding to you, so it will be your job to approach them in the right way. Some may avoid negative aspects which would mean they are insincere.
When they respond and you feel that you did not get the answer you were looking for, try asking them “How do you mean?” or “Could you be more specific?” and if they do not want to elaborate, their answers may not be that honest.
Concentrate on how you are formulating this type of question because you can get more information if you formulate it more in detail like “What is your favorite part of working in this enterprise?” or “What are some of the challenges you face?”
8. DO YOU EXPECT EMPLOYEES TO RELOCATE?
Some companies involve relocation for their employee which comes with additional pay, but besides relocating, there are other aspects to take in mind. Such is the workplace culture.
After discussing company culture in your desired location, you should know what the culture is like in other locations. If they differ and it does not correlate with your aspirations, you should discuss this issue with the recruiter.
You should take in mind that not every company will merit the expenses of the relocation process which is why you should get informed before accepting such offers. This is, however, a part of the conversation you might have after you have been accepted at the company.
The positive aspect of relocation would include a potential promotion in the future and it would affirm your loyalty to the enterprise. However, there are downsides naturally like the financial aspect and your relationships, like family.
In any case, if you are not a person willing to accept relocation, you should get informed about it on time. Being honest is crucial for these circumstances since it would become an issue in the future for both you and the company if this is not settled on time.
You must be aware of your level of sacrifices for a job. If this would represent an issue to you in the future, you should undoubtedly ask the recruiter this question.
Also, be sure to know all about the questions recruiters might have for you.
9. ASK RECRUITERS ABOUT THE RELATED ARTICLE TO THEIR COMPANY.
As mentioned before, preparation if half your work. If you do your research well on time, you will appear as a respected and worthy candidate to recruiters.
One of the ways to do that is by reading articles and papers on the company in question. Research anything you feel may come up in conversation with the recruiter and use it to show them your interest and eagerness.
Talking about the company’s products and endeavors is also showing your interest and previous research. By discussing something other than your skills and resume, the recruiter might be delighted to change up a topic a bit.
You could also find out who the recruiter will be and look at their LinkedIn or other platforms to observe their growth in the company and if they had recent success.
Becoming friendly with the recruiter is one step closer to getting into the company. Again, be aware of your facial expressions and body language and listen closely to them as they respond to your questions.
So as not to waste your time when researching everything about the company, focus on the recent wins and goals for the future. Such conversations will display your acquaintance with the company work and perhaps make you stand out from other candidates.
10. CAN I CONTACT THE COMPANY FOR FURTHER QUESTIONS?
Since many people may come to a career fair or talk to the recruiter of the company you are interested in, you may not get the chance to find out everything you wanted.
If you are lucky enough, you may have had a satisfactory conversation with the hiring manager and you might have gotten a card. This is the moment when you can ask them if it is acceptable to contact them for further questions.
If, however, you did not have a pleasant conversation, you might want to skip this question as they probably get a lot of emails from unqualified candidates and you do not want them to perceive you as too eager.
A good alternative to this question is if you can leave your resume to the recruiter and they can contact you if they see you as a great fit for the company.
Moreover, sending a thank you email after the fair would be a polite way to remind them of your interview and express gratitude for their time.
Think about the time when you will send that email since you do not want to seem too enthusiastic, but rational and courteous. A day or two after the fair, send them an email but pay attention to a couple of details.
Address the recruiter by their name, show them an appreciation for their time and conversation, briefly remind them about a specific topic you had with them and finish the letter by restating your interest in their enterprise.
These are all fundamental questions you will need for the career fair. They are the guidelines and shortcuts for your preparation and your final portrayal.
After reading this article you will feel equipped for your groundwork which is studying the companies you are interested in and choosing the right questions for recruiters.
However, you should not ask every single question, as you are not the one interviewing recruiters. These will serve you as a strategy of your own. When you decide what that is, you will make your inquiry spontaneously through the dialogue.
You should remember not to ask simple questions about the salary and vacations since your goal is to appear professional and smart. Stick to the outlined list of questions and adapt them to your character. After all, you got nothing to lose.
With that being said, focus more on your posture, facial expressions, and body language. Nod and smile while conversing with hiring managers, and try to appear affable and communicative.
The whole point is for you to make an impression on the employers of your desired company. This is why you must prepare so as not to appear indifferent or unsympathetic simply because you were not prepared.
If you recognize this list of questions as an aid to your tactic for a career fair, you will be halfway to your goals. Believe in yourself and stay determined!
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