Career networking events, such as the upcoming Career Fair, provide students with great opportunities to expand their networks. Events like these usually have a wide range of companies with different employment opportunities for students to explore. However, given the pressure of such opportunities, sometimes it can be hard to keep a conversation interesting and dynamic with recruiters and company representatives. Don’t fret, the following 5 questions are great conversation starters that will help you avoid those awkward pauses!
- What books do you recommend reading to get better insight into the industry?
This is a great question to ask because it shows that you are interested in not only scoring a job but also educating yourself outside of the classroom. Having this scholarly initiative will make you appear more knowledgeable than your peers, even if you aren’t the most avid reader. Plus, they might give you a few good suggestions that will catch your interest.
- What is the top one or two skills or strengths you think is most valuable in your workplace?
This is perfect conversation starter especially if you are a freshman or sophomore because you have the time to develop the recommended skills before entering the workforce after graduation. It will also give you a sense of direction regarding what courses focus on these skills, so that you can create a schedule best suits your intended career path. Also, by mentioning what strengths are valuable you can refer back to your top 5 strengths from the StrengthsFinder assessment to see if they align well with what the person said!
- What experiences led you to the work that you do today?
This is a better way of phrasing the oh-so common “What made you want to do this career?” Rather than getting a philosophical answer, you want to facilitate a real factual one to give you better insight on their story. By structuring the focus of your sentence around experiences this allows the individual to speak about their education, internships, jobs, passions, other involvement and more. You will not only understand why they landed in this career path but how they did it as well. This can give you insight on how to achieve your goals by following some of their steps.
- What do you wish you had known about your position/the field before you started?
Here is an opportunity to get their best advice on how to get ahead on the job search process. If you are considering a few different types of jobs these shared tips and tricks may give you a better perspective on what this specific position entails. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions or for clarification! The more information and advice you receive, the better.
- What changes and/or improvements do you envision for your company in the near future? How do you expect your position to change in the near future?
Questions tailored about the future are definitely impressive suggests thebalance.com. They show that you are futuristic and take thought into your life decisions. Having this outlook is unique because it shows that you are in the job or company for the long haul rather than something that is temporary. Definitely throw one of these into the mix for a great conversation.
If any of these questions seem intriguing, be sure to give one of them a try the next time you attend a networking event… or at the upcoming Career Fair!