Things to Prepare for a Career Fair

As you prepare to look for jobs at Augustana’s career fairs there are a couple things you should do in advance.

  1. Schedule an appointment with your Career Coach using Handshake!
  2. Research Companies in Advance

There are a variety of factors to consider when deciding to apply for jobs or even talk to a recruiter. Some potential things you should research in advance include:

  • What jobs the employer is hiring for?
  • What is the goal of the company?
  • Do they provide a service or do they sell a product?
  • What is their mission, vision, and values? Do they even have those listed?
  • Does the company share ethical values with you? This includes the way they do business, if they support particular initiatives or political agendas, do they have ethical business practices?
  • What is company culture like? You can usually find company reviews by employees on places like glassdoor and indeed!
  • If you are an international student consider looking at our goin’ global H1B database to see if the company has hired any international workers in the last few years! This resource can be found HERE


3. Be Specific with Your Questions and Limit Your Time

Remember to respect the recruiter’s time. Their goal is to speak with as many candidates as possible and if you spend too much time, they may view this negatively. Your goal at the fair is to speak with as many recruiters as you can!

Some potential questions to ask can include some of the following:

  • What is your company culture like?
  • What is the hardest part of the job? (be specific to the specific position)
  • How does this position support the mission of the company?
  • What is the best part of working for ______
  • 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?
  • 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]?
  • 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?

4. Things Not to Ask or Do

  • Do you have any openings at your company?
  • What is the turn-over rate for _____ position?
  • What does your company do?
  • What do you have for me?
  • Take company swag and walk away
  • Dress unprofessionally
  • Go to the same employers as your friends. You may have some of the same interests in companies, but your situation is unique to you. Talk to the people you need to talk to!
  • Answer or use your phone when talking to a recruiter
  1. Attire

Make sure you dress for the role you are interested in. Many times recruiters ask for a same day, or even on the spot, interviews! Please see our article on attire HERE.

  1. Update your Resume/CV

Bring enough copies of your resume for each employer you are interested in speaking with, and then a few extra if you plan on looking at other companies as you see them!

Your Resume/CV is how you will present both your experiences and contact information to an employer, please make sure you schedule an appointment with your Career Coach to have your documents looked at.

  1. Prepare for an Interview

If you are going to apply or speak with many companies brush up on general interview skills with your Career Coach or someone you trust to help you.

If you are planning on only talking to a small number of employers, go through your research of the company and refresh your interview skills using your knowledge of those companies as context.


By Lisa Slater
Lisa Slater Marketing & Events Coordinator