The 7 Questions You Should Ask at a Job or Career Fair to Make a Good Impression

Attendees at a career fair.

Career fairs can be an opportunity to network, learn more about an industry, and gain exposure to companies that interest you. But it’s easy to waste this opportunity if you don’t prepare for it. Making a good impression can be easier when you’re able to have a meaningful dialogue with recruiters, which is why it’s so important to have a few good questions to ask at a job fair.

Career Fair Questions to Ask

First impressions matter and career fairs are essentially a series of first impressions. Having a couple of questions to ask at a career fair can prevent you from seeming unprepared, and it can help you stand out from other candidates by conveying your interest in the position.

1. What is the typical work week like for a new hire?

This question shows you’re seriously considering the logistics of working for the company. And the answer can also be useful because even when comparing the same jobs in the same industries, the typical workweek can vary widely from one company to the next.

2. Do you offer training, mentoring, or any type of professional development for your employees?

This question communicates two things. It says you’re not looking for just any job; you’re looking for a position where you’re valued. It also suggests you’re thinking about developing a career in the industry, and demonstrates that you care about your development as a professional. In other words, you could be worth investing in.

3. What does it take to be successful at your company? What are some traits that help your most successful employees do well?

Asking this question communicates to recruiters that you are interested in learning how to thrive in your next job. Plus, their answer gives you the opportunity to explain how your past experiences may have helped you gain the qualities they’re seeking.

4. What does a typical 5-year or 10-year trajectory look like for new hires in X position?

Asking about a 5-year trajectory communicate that you’re thinking about the long term, and hiring you is less likely to create employee turnover in the near future. Similar to question #2, inquiring about advancement within a company also communicates you’re interested in developing a career rather than simply finding a job.

5. What do people like most about working for [company]?

A company’s culture can vary widely from one employer to the next. Asking this question can help you make a personal connection with the recruiter, determine your own compatibility with the company, and potentially reveal red flags if the recruiter struggles to provide a satisfactory answer.

6. What steps can I take to increase my chances at getting hired?

Asking about improving the strength of your application is among the best questions you can ask at a career fair. As with many other questions, it communicates that you’re sincerely interested in the position. It can also help you learn a variety of useful information. For instance, you might learn about ways to improve your resume, new positions to apply for, or a variety of other useful insights.

7. Is there a way for me to follow up with further questions? Do you have a business card?

First impressions can become lasting impressions if you take the time to follow-up with someone after meeting them. Asking for a recruiter’s contact information is good practice for networking, and it allows you to send a thank you letter to serve as a reminder of your meeting and qualifications.

Need to know how to write a follow up letter after a career fair? How about other kinds of career fair prep? MyPath’s Blog has a variety of articles for people who are interested in building a new career, from students and graduates to people considering a career change. And if you’re still looking for a career path suitable for you, check out the Career Wizard Tool to discover if there’s a career in risk management that aligns with your skills, goals, and interests.