Interviews in career fairs

The main categories for job fair interviews are:

Selection job fair interviews
These types of interviews are used to as a first screen process to eliminate unwanted candidates and normally last less than three minutes. You need to make a good impression within thirty seconds. Prepare the introduction and key elements of your career objectives part of your resume. Provide a short and targeted summary of why you are the person for the job and company.

Second level job fair interviews
The interviews normally last about four to six minutes and are focused on the content of your resume as well as one or two job related questions. You will be asked to provide details on certain aspects of your resume. Connect your answers with the job requirements and the company's goals. Obtain a business card and call the recruiter the following day.

In-depth interviews
These interviews are normally used after initial interviews have been done with candidates. They are conducted in privacy at the job fair and cover the normal range of interview questions. If you are invited to one of these interviews, you should follow-up promptly and keep your schedule open for at least a week after the job fair for a possible short list interview. Prepare for this type of interview in the same way as for a normal interview at the company's head office.

The first question asked
One of the questions frequently asked at job fair interviews is 'what to you want from the job fair?' Consider your answer carefully. Off course everyone is looking for a job, but your answer should reflect that you are interested in the particular job at the specific company. Your answer should connect you with the employer. For this reason you need to research the prospective employers before you attend any of the job fair interviews. Establish common ground.

What to do if you cannot attend the job fair interviews
Notify the targeted employers in writing that you will not be able to attend the job fair but would like to submit your CV. Send it at least one week before the show and then immediately after the show. The recruiters normally collect two piles of resumes or CV's of potential employees. Through this method you ensure that your resume or CV will be in both piles and when the recruiter sees your name a second time, he will think that he has heard or seen the name before and give your resume an extra glance, which is exactly what you need.

How to make sure that you are remembered
The key to being remembered by recruiters are through follow-up and by making a good impression. One way of getting the attention of the recruiter is by bringing him a cold drink or lunch with a comment that you understand that he must be thirsty or hungry. Use the opportunity to introduce yourself and providing a short and targeted summary of your career objectives, skills and experience and show how it relates to the job at hand. Before you go home, visit the stall again and wish him best with the rest of his day. Call after the show has ended to thank him for the wonderful exhibition. If you approach a recruiter around lunch time, you can even offer to buy him lunch at the diner venue and use the time to talk to him.

Long waiting lines at job fair interviews
When you arrive early, you will miss most of the long waiting lines. Later in day, you may find that you are also standing in line, but make the most of it. Use the time to speak to other candidates and find out where they applied, what they are doing at the career fair and who they are targeting. Listen and get tips.