Questions you should be asking at Careers Fairs

Posted by Lucas Leung

Careers fairs can actually be quite daunting for many reasons, ranging from the maze of company booths and representatives to the huge crowd of your fellow students. Imagine you've FINALLY reached the front of the line to chat with a recruiter but ... suddenly panic! You have no idea what questions you should be asking them.

You only get a limited opportunity to chat with a company representative so it's critical that you have some great questions ready to go. This means you should ask questions you can't find the answer to anywhere else (such as the company website). Additionally, look for ways to stand out. Odds are, the recruiter has just spoken about similar things to plenty of other students on the same day so leaving a great impression is a great way to potentially stand out down the track.

Here are 7 kinds of questions you can ask at your next Careers Fair:

1. Ask about a particular role

In preparation for your application, ask about a specific role that you were thinking of applying for. Try and get some unique information that you can use to tailor your cover letter and also find out if it's the right role for you. You can also clarify aspects of the job description that you found unclear or anything you are genuinely curious about.

Here are some examples:

  • In a typical day, what does [open role] do?
  • Is the [open role] you currently have listed more focused on [some function or aspect of the company] or [some other function or aspect of the company]?
  • I don’t have a traditional background in [field or function] but I have worked on [something relevant]. Would that be a good fit for [open role]?
  • What kinds of skills does [company] look for when recruiting for [open role]?

2. Ask about the hiring process

Give yourself a headstart by diving deeper into the details of the hiring process. Maybe you'll find out something you didn't know or isn't publicly available. You can find out more about the timeline and things to look out for so that you are as prepared as possible.

Here are some examples:

  • What does the hiring process for [open role] look like?
  • Can you tell me a little bit about the different stages in the hiring process for [open role]?
  • How can I best prepare for the hiring process?

3. Ask about their experience

Careers fairs are a perfect opportunity to build a relationship with a recruiter. Asking about what life is like at their company is a great way to break the ice and find out more about what life is like at a company. Recruiters love talking about their company culture and if you give them that opportunity, they might just remember you for it.

Here are some examples:

  • How has your experience been so far at [company]?
  • What’s your favorite thing about your job?
  • What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your role or at [company]?

4. Ask about opportunities beyond the role

An important part of starting your career is knowing what kinds of opportunities there are beyond your graduate role. A careers fair is a great opportunity to learn more about how you can grow and progress within the company.

Here are some examples:

  • What does growth and development look like at [company]?
  • How does [company] invest in employee development?
  • Is there a career path currently in place for the [open role]?

5. Ask about the company's products, services or industry news

A great way to start a conversation with a recruiter at a careers fair is to talk about some recent news about the company. Doing your homework never hurts, so don't hesitate to bring up something you heard or read about the company and ask about it.

Here are some examples:

  • I read an article about [event/product/service]. What was it like being part of that?
  • I love [product/service]! I use it all the time. How do you think it’s going to evolve in the next few years?
  • What differentiates your company from [other company]?

6. Ask about company culture

Company culture plays a large in whether a role is a good fit for you. At your next careers fair, ask about the internal culture and what the non-work company initiatives are. At the end of the day, you are going to be spending a lot of time with different people within the company so you want to make sure you are happy at work.

Here are some examples:

  • What kind of person is most successful at [company]?
  • Diversity is really important to me. How do you support different identities?
  • Do your employees spend much time socializing outside of work?
  • What kind of social impact initiatives can I get involved with?

7. Ask about staying in touch

Wrap up your great chat with the recruiter by ensuring this isn't the last time you talk to them. If you ask about how to keep in touch, they'll probably provide a few ways such as a LinkedIn connection, email or even business card. This is how you begin to develop long-term relationships with the decision makers of a firm.

Here are some examples:

  • What’s the best way to stay in touch with you?
  • What would be a great next step to take after meeting you here?
  • Is there anyone you could connect me with to talk more specifically about [open role]?

That's our list! Try out some of these questions in your next careers fair and see how it goes. Also check out our article on how to plan out your careers fair day to be plus ultra prepared!


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