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You’re at a Job Fair – What Questions do You Ask?

May 14, 2010

   You managed to hear of a great Job Fair that some of your Target Companies should be at – Check.  You’ve actually decided to spend the whole day meeting people, hearing about different companies, and maybe even attend a few workshops – Check.  Now, you’re in line, and getting ready to speak with a rep from one of your target companies – Check.  What questions are you getting ready to ask?  Did an empty feeling just come over you?  [tweetmemesource=”@Aidan_Foley” only_single=false]

Many a Job Seeker has found themselves in a similar situation.  So, you’re not alone.  Being prepared by doing some prior research of the open positions, and what the company does will give you an advantage over your competitor. 

I would like to offer some advice on being different then the average Job Seeker at a Job Fair though.  When it’s your turn to talk to a company rep, try to stay clear of you, and make it more about them.  That’s right.  Curious?  I know I was the first time I heard of such an approach … but, it does work, and here’s why.  They are use to folks asking:

  • Hi, I’m … and, this is what I do (typical elevator speech)
  • Do you have any openings?
  • What does your company do?

Instead, ask more questions like these:

  • What kinds of skills, and/or experience do you look for in a top candidate?
  • What are the characteristics of your most successful employees?
  • Which are the most popular certifications to possess as a great candidate?
  • What’s your company like?
  • How long have you been with the company?
  • What made you choose this company, and why do you stay?
  • What’s the one thing that most surprised you about this company?

You’ll be amazed at the response.  You haven’t focused so much about you, or your talents, but more about them, their company, and their needs.  Once you have that discussion, now you are more readily able to offer what you can do to help. 

I’ve always used a phrase that may come in handy, as a reminder, when you get ready to have your next Job Fair discussion.  “It makes no sense in offering A, B, and C, when they are looking for X, Y, and Z.”

What questions have you asked?

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