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Top five questions to ask at a career fair

Career fair

Sept. 24-26 is the University-Wide Career Fair at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus. Hiring managers and recruiters from companies all over the Valley and the world will be ready to meet, talk to and potentially hire you. No pressure.

Making a good first impression is key. You’ll only have about two minutes of face time with the recruiters. Once you make it to a booth, what do you say? We recommend starting with a handshake and a brief introduction. Find out if the company is hiring for a position you’re interested in, and start a conversation. Check out our list of the top five questions to ask.

1. Which traits and skills do you look for in applicants? Start with this one — it’s an easy question to build on. Move from your elevator pitch to what the recruiter is looking for. If you sound like a great fit, awesome! Move on to the next question. If there are many things they mention that aren’t in your repertoire, ask how you can gain the skills they are looking for.

2. What is the training process for new employees like? This is great to know when considering a workplace. Think about how the training style will work with how you learn best. Knowing if you’ll receive assistance learning the ropes with extensive startup training or if you’ll learn as you go is important information.  

3. How would you describe the company culture? Hearing directly from an employee is valuable. Use their answer to ask more in depth questions about office life. While you may not know yet what is important to you in an office environment, you can find out things like the layout, if the team socializes together or not, and how many other entry-level employees there typically are.

4. What courses would best prepare me for your entry-level positions? Follow this up by asking if there are any student organizations that would be beneficial in preparing for a position at the company. Even if the recruiter isn’t an alum they can share from their experience at school. With more than 1,000 student organizations and clubs, ASU might have a similar organization you could join.

5. May I have your business card and is it okay to email you if I have further questions? This is the most important step. You want to start fostering a relationship with this person and their company ASAP. Give the recruiter your business card if you have one, or leave them with your resume to reference when you do reach out.

Ask these questions and build on them. Your goal at the fair is to find out if the company and position would be a good fit for you, and how you can work toward reaching your employment goals.

Check out this blog post from an ASU student who has rocked the career fair in previous years for her tips on how to make the best impression and get your dream job.


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