7 Kinds of Questions to Ask at Career Fairs | The Muse

Let ’ s be honest : Walking into a career fair can be fabulously intimidating. Look at all those people who have the power to give you a speculate one day ! Look at all those other people who want some of the very same jobs you want ! No matchless would blame you for feeling overwhelmed. startle by considering that the recruiters on the other side of the board ( literally or metaphorically ) are people just like you. then remember that you ’ re improbable to elicit a job offer on the position from any one of them. Put those things together and you ’ ll lower the stakes for yourself and do what might actually help your career : have great conversations. “ Remember that recruiters are humans, not robots. They like having conversations, ” says Victoria Morell, a Muse career coach and Associate Director of Miami University Farmer School of Business Careers. “ You constantly want to leave them with, ‘ Oh I want to learn more about that person. ’ ” comfortable to say, yes, but what do you actually say when you ’ re face-to-face with a bore recruiter who ’ s already spoken to 47 other prospective applicants today ? At a career bazaar, your finish is to get the information you need to decide if a company or character is a commodity fit for you, while besides leaving a good mental picture that could help you get one dance step closer to nabbing that job.

here are seven kinds of questions that will help you do barely that.

1. Ask About a Particular Role

Most people will come up to a postpone, say hello and give a short spiel about their background, and then ask, “ Do you have any open roles ? ” according to Muse career coach Chelsea Williams, who in a previous status at an asset management firm attended dozens of career fairs to look for talent. “ The recruiter will sometimes say, ‘ We do. Check the website. ’ That ’ s not a potent way to maximize your time, ” she says. And it tells the recruiter that you didn ’ t take the clock to do any inquiry and you ’ re not unplayful about their caller. Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be one of those people. You can stand out right away by taking a different approach. Spend some prison term ahead of the consequence looking through the list of companies attending, finding a handful that seem most enticing to you, learning what you can about them, identifying any roles that seem like a thoroughly paroxysm for you, and ideally submitting your application before you walk in. That way, you can use your clock to delve deep into anything that wasn ’ thyroxine clear in the job description and to gather information beyond what ’ s available on-line, which could help you continue to evaluate whether it ’ s actually the right fit and come in handy by and by if you move forward in the interview process. You can try to get right to the heart of the matter by asking, “ What are you sincerely looking for in this character if you could have your ideal campaigner ? ” Morell suggests. not merely can you get the inside exclusive on what ’ s most crucial to them, but it besides “ gives you an opportunity to say, ‘ Oh, this is how I ’ ve done that ! ’ ” Try questions like :

  • 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 noticed the job description for [open role] listed [some vague item] in the responsibilities—what do you mean by that?
  • In a typical day, what does [open role] do?
  • What’s the biggest challenge the new [open role] can help solve?
  • Who’s the manager/direct report for this role?
  • What’s this team’s biggest goal in the next six months?
  • 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]?
  • I noticed you didn’t have any [type of role or roles on a specific team] open just now. What kinds of opportunities in those areas do you foresee down the line?

2. Ask About the Hiring Process

A one-on-one conversation with a recruiter is besides a great opportunity to glean some information and calibrate your expectations for the hire march. Muse career coach Brad Finkeldei once interviewed for a consulting job in a rent march that had eight stages. “ They truly want to make sure it was a good match culturally, ” he says. Knowing something like that up front man would help you get a sense of the kind of timeline you can expect. ( And you might decide to send out some more applications while you wait ! ) Try questions like :

  • 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]?

3. Ask About Their Experience

One of your main goals going into a career fair should be to use it as a depart point for building long-run relationships, says Muse career coach Clayton Wert. To that end, you “ don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate just want to talk about yourself all the prison term. Be insightful and curious about the other person, ” he says. The person you ’ re address with works at the company. Ask them about their experience there ! You might learn something about the culture that you could never glean from a job station or website alone. Plus, says Muse career coach Kristina Leonardi, “ the more authentic and personable and relatable you can be the more memorable you can be. ” Try questions like :

  • How long have you been at [Company]?
  • What do you like about [Company]?
  • What’s your favorite thing about your job?
  • What do you really enjoy about this role in particular?
  • What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your role or at [Company]?

4. Ask About Growth and Development

You may be a scholar or late alumnus looking for your foremost real tone into a new field, but you won ’ triiodothyronine be a newcomer everlastingly. It ’ s worth asking not precisely about the character you ’ ve applied for, but about how you can learn and grow and do more down the line. “ It lets the recruiter know you ’ re thinking about the future and the long-run with the company, that you ’ re in truth invested in what your future could look like there, ” Morell says.

Try questions like :

  • What does growth and development look like at [Company]?
  • How does [Company] support its employees as they look to grow and level up their skills and responsibilities?
  • I imagine that [innovation at the company or change in the industry] will change how you’re working on [project or product]. How are you developing your workforce to keep up with this?
  • How does [Company] work to upskill and reskill its employees?

5. Ask About the Company’s Products, Services, or Recent News

nothing shows you ’ ve done your homework like casually mentioning something timely about the organization. “ Go to the company web log when doing your inquiry, find a recent article or crush spill, and reference something the company ’ sulfur presently going through, ” says Wert. If the company ’ south just reached a major milestone, released a newfangled product, or announced some capital news, he suggests going in and saying, “ Congratulations, that ’ s amazing ! Hopefully it makes doing your job easy. What do you think this means for you ? ” Or you could say, “ I saw you ’ re launching [ new product ] … That ’ s great ! What do you think that ’ mho going to do ? ” And if you have a genuine personal connection to the company ’ south products or services—whether it ’ randomness been your front-runner thing since you were five or your mother ’ second constantly talking about how much she loves it—share that with the recruiter and use it to lead into a question. Try questions like :

  • I recently read an article about [event, announcement, or news related to the company]. What was it like to be a part of that?
  • I know you’ve just announced a strategy change. How is that shift taking place internally?
  • I love [product/service], I use it all the time! How do you think it’s going to evolve in the next year?

6. Ask About Company Culture

Whatever role it is that you have your eye on, it doesn ’ t exist in a vacuum. You ’ ll be working with colleagues, a team, a department, and an entire organization that has a unique culture. One of the most effective ways you can use your prison term at a career fairly is to ask questions that ’ ll avail you understand a company ’ south polish and determine if it ’ s the kind of environment you want. It ’ s not necessarily about the polish being good or bad, it ’ s a matter of finding a meet. For model, you might be looking for a highly collaborative air or, on the flipside, you might prefer to work independently 95 % of the clock. In either scenario you ’ ll need a different kind of work acculturation to thrive. If you ’ re newfangled to the knead earth, you might not know precisely what you ’ ra looking for ( and that ’ s o ! ), but you can hush use these kinds of questions to feel out whether a ship’s company sounds like a place you can see yourself spending most of your waking hours. When you ask questions about culture—and throughout your conversation—make sure you ’ re attuned to body language, hesitations, and what ’ s not being said, in addition to the actual verbal reception. “ specially as a recruiter, they ’ re going to be reasonably well rehearsed. They ’ re there to sell the post and positions, ” says Morell. But little cues like pauses or a perfectly inoffensive but canned answer can raise questions to look into more later. For example, Morell says, “ if you ask about diversity and they entirely mention one kind of diversity or their statement feels identical much like a bodied statement on diversity, that could be a crimson flag. ” Try questions like :

  • What kind of person is most successful at [Company]?
  • What does communication look like at [Company]? What kind of technology do you use for communication?
  • What kind of culture is there around feedback at [Company]? How do people like to give and receive feedback?
  • Diversity is really important to me. How do you support different identities?
  • I saw photos of [volunteer, diversity, or social event] on the company’s Instagram account. Can you tell me more about that program?
  • Do people hang out outside of work on a regular basis?

7. Ask How You Can Stay in Touch

now that you ’ ve had a fantastic chew the fat, wrap it up by ensuring that this doesn ’ thyroxine have to be the last time you talk. Make surely you know the person ’ mho name and take a business poster ( if they have one ) or ask how you can keep in touch with them and the company. That direction, you ’ ll have a contact to reach out to if you don ’ metric ton hear bet on about your application.

And you can besides start developing long-run relationships. Who knows, “ you might connect back with them at a time that ’ second not as busy and get coffee, ” Morell says. tied if there ’ s not a perfect function for you at this company now, or if this one doesn ’ metric ton pan out, you never know what might open up in the future. Try questions like :

  • What’s the best way to stay in touch with you?
  • What would be a great next step to take after meeting you here?
  • Who can I follow up with about [open role]?

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