5 questions to ask during a career fair

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Megan Trippi

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You’re beginning your job search – or maybe you just want to see what is available – so you start looking at job boards, reaching out to recruiters and possibly attending career fairs.

There are many ways to get a feel for the health care job market, but live and virtual career fairs put you in front of hiring organizations and give you a chance to meet with and speak to multiple recruiters in only a few hours. They can almost be treated as mini interviews, which means you want to be prepared and have questions ready so you know which organization might be the best fit for you.

Here are five questions to consider when attending a career fair:

Is the organization hiring for specific roles or specialties?

This may be the first question you want to ask because if you are a specialist or looking for a certain position, you could be wasting both the recruiter’s time and your own if they don’t foresee any openings in your desired specialty.

If you are interested in this particular organization, but they don’t have any current openings in your specialty, you could ask a follow-up question to see if they may have a need in the near future. If there is mutual interest, both you and the recruiter will want to keep the other in mind when it comes to hiring for your specialty.

How does the hiring process work?

You met a recruiter with whom you enjoyed speaking, you really like the organization and they have an opening in your specialty, but what are the next steps you need to take to be considered for the position? The last thing you want is to make a strong connection that goes cold once you leave the career fair.

Asking about the hiring process and what to do next will help you know what is expected of you as the candidate, and how to proceed if it’s a good fit. This also presents a loose timeline and allows you to plan for any time off that would be required or when you can expect to be contacted if the recruiter wants to move you further through the process.

What differentiates the organization from others?

Most organizations may seem similar and share some of the same information with you, but what sets one apart from the other? This is important if you’re looking for a long-term fit because you want to not only enjoy the work you do, but also where you perform that work. If you have something about which you’re passionate and an organization has it as a part of their mission, it could move them to the top of your list. If you want to perform research, clinic or volunteer work outside of practice, you’ll want to find somewhere that allows it, which could be a differentiating factor for you.

What is the culture like?

This one question can have multiple questions that follow. Does the recruiter enjoy working for the organization and why did they choose it over others? How long have they worked there? These are all questions that not only show interest in the recruiter, but also give you a feel for the culture and why it is a great place to work.

Culture may not always seem like a priority when you are looking for a job because you also have to consider compensation, hours, location and many other aspects of the role, but if you are in a toxic environment or don’t enjoy going to work every day, those other details won’t matter as much.

Work culture and those with whom you work can make the difference of practicing somewhere for the duration of a contract and going through the motions or practicing at the same place for the majority of your career and taking pride in the work you do each day.

Can I leave my CV and is there a business card of someone I can contact?

Before you leave a booth, whether it be physical or virtual, you’ll want to provide your CV and make sure you exchange contact information if you haven’t already done so. This gives the recruiter most of the information they need about you and will allow you to have a contact if you need to connect with someone when you are interested in a position or follow up on a current opening.



Do you want to connect with hiring employers? Attend an upcoming PracticeLink Virtual Career Fair!

Read PracticeLink articles by Megan Trippi

Megan Trippi

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