ECF Tip #9: Ask Questions

raise hands

After you’ve done your research on the employers, create a list of questions to ask.  Some general ones you might consider are:

  • What particular skills/qualifications does (organization’s name) look for in prospective employees/interns?
  • What is your organizations interview and hiring process?
  • What has your experience at (organization’s name) been like?

Show that you’ve done your research and ask questions about what you’ve learned

  • I read about xyz on your website. Can you tell me more about that initiative?
  • In your opinion, what sets your organization apart from other companies’ in the industry like (name a few competitors)?

Do NOT ask questions that can be easily answered by looking at the employer’s website. Also, don’t ask questions about salary and benefits. A career fair is not an appropriate place for those questions.

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ECF Tip #8: Do Your Research

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The number 1 thing employers complain about at career fairs is students not being knowledgeable about their organizations. One of the worst things you can do is ask a recruiter “What does your company do?” You’ve just wasted your time and probably lost the recruiter’s interest. Before you go to the fair, research the employers that will be there. If you are knowledgeable about the company, you can have a deeper conversation with the recruiter AND impress them with your the research you’ve done.

Some starting points to research include:

  • Type and purpose of the organization
  • Mission statement, vision and values
  • Reputation
  • Recent articles or tweets from or about the company
  • New initiatives

The iSchool is sponsoring an Employer Research Session, February 2, 4:15-6:00 pm, OUGL 220. Bring your laptops and enjoy some pizza while you search for information on the employers attending the career fair.

A list of the employers scheduled to be at fair can be found at https://ischool.uw.edu/current/career-services/employer-connections-fair

(Adapted from this article)

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