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How do I prepare for an Employer Information Session?

Information sessions are great opportunities for all in attendance. Preparing for this should be treated as if it were an interview, which entails proper preparation and behavior. Remember you are trying to make a positive impression not only of yourself but of Brooklyn College. Being able to meet employers directly is an amazing opportunity that you should take full advantage of. Following these guidelines will better prepare you and help you enjoy this wonderful experience.

RESEARCH THE COMPANY
It is important to understand the field you are interested in as well as the specific company.

  • Visit the company website to gather information such as its history, philosophy, recent news, size and services provided, its mission, their competitors etc.
  • Find out what types of jobs are available and what qualifications they seek.
  • Visit helpful websites to gain knowledge about the field and company such as GlassdoorLinkedIn or professional associations in the field.

PREPARE AND ASK QUESTIONS
Be prepared to shine and have good questions ready to ask when prompted. Recruiters indicate that one of the biggest mistakes students make is when they do not ask any questions. It is important to brainstorm questions that you would like to ask the company to gain better insight and learn about what they look for in prospective employees. If you do get an interview, this information will be very valuable. What a wasted opportunity to get information and make a good impression if you do not ask a question.

  • Prepare at least 5 questions (sample questions below).
  • When asking your questions first introduce yourself and then ask your question.
  • Be mindful that others will have questions, so wait to see if others raise their hand. If they don’t then surely continue asking questions.
  • By using either relevant information from your research or notes taken during the session, you will be able to get your questions answered.
  • There are questions not to ask such as those that can be answered through the research you should have done or ones that were already answered in the session. In addition do not ask about salary, how hard someone has to work, the work hours, benefits etc.

Sample Questions

  • Can you describe an ideal employee?
  • Can you describe the culture?
  • Why did you choose to work at the company?
  • Please describe your career progression
  • What are some of the skills and abilities necessary for someone to succeed in this job?
  • Could you describe your company’s management style and the type of employee who fits well with it?
  • Could you explain your organizational structure?
  • How can I be better prepared for an interview? (Describe the interviewing process)
  • Can you describe your career path?
  • What is the typical career path after ——– position?

YOUR 60 SECOND PITCH

  • Develop an introduction that you will make if you have the chance to speak to recruiters/presenters. This will include items such as your name, your major, when you will graduate and a little bit about yourself (such as involvement in student organizations or a summary of your internship/work experience).

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Keep in mind that employers and people are always “judging” you and the college and are making mental notes, therefore first impressions are critical.  At recruiting events recruiters are definitely making notes on what is going on. You are marketing yourself to a potential employer, everything you do will either give a great, bad or ok impression. You want to stand out and impress them. This means avoiding things such as arriving late, looking disinterested, having your cell phone ring or not asking questions.

  • Try to arrive before the actual start of the event.  If circumstances do not allow that make sure to arrive on time.
  • Do not smoke or chew gum.
  • Smile and when applicable offer a friendly greeting along with a firm handshake.
  • Be pleasant and courteous to everyone you encounter.
  • Be aware of your mannerisms and nervous habits (do not tap your fingers, swing your feet or sit slumped over).
  • Make sure your cell phone is turned off.
  • Go to the restroom if needed so you do not have to interrupt during the meeting.
  • Attire: The first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire. Dressing conservatively is always the safest route. Students will be notified if a suit is required for the event, otherwise, students should minimally wear slacks, skirt, blouses and dress shoes (no sneakers, jeans or hats). It is much better to be overdressed than underdressed.  For more details on how to dress properly, review our Dressing Appropriately Page

WHAT TO BRING

  • When applicable bring extra copies of your resume and cover letter.
  • Take a pen and notepad to jot down any information you receive during the session. Taking notes during the session makes a great impression.
  • Bring along the questions you have prepared to ask.

NETWORKING AFTER THE SESSION:
Make sure to take the opportunity to speak with recruiters/employees after the conclusion of the event, time permitting. If the person does not have time, ask for a business card.

  • Give your introduction and ask questions to engage in a conversation (do not ask obvious questions).
  • Networking is the process of connecting with people working in various jobs and career fields of interest to you to get information and build relationships. It provides the information you need to become more focused in your career plans, as well as the information to help you land a job in your targeted field of interest.
  • Thank the employers/recruiters for their time and useful information.
  • Ask them for their business cards.
  • Give them your resume (if applicable).

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