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Posted 30 March 2023

How to Prepare for Open Interviews

Open interviews or career fairs are opportunities to grow as a professional. These events are important to attend while in school — and even after — to build connections, grow relationships, and identify job opportunities. Preparation is important! Here are some tips to tackle before you attend.

Touch-up your resume

When going to open interviews, make sure your resume is updated with all your latest experiences, skills, and coursework. Check to make sure your formatting is correct when revising your resume — sometimes small additions or changes can throw off spacing or alignment. You can also ask a professor or mentor to critique your resume for you. Most importantly, print enough resumes to ensure you don’t run out during the open interviews. Likely, the company will take the resume back to the office with them after the open interview, so you want to make sure your resume can speak for you.

Research the companies

Familiarize yourself with the companies you plan on speaking to beforehand. Things you want to know are the company’s mission and vision statement, what they do, and history. Knowing this ahead of time will help you have an engaging conversation and show the company’s representatives you have real interest.

Have questions in mind and inquire about position offerings

Asking questions is important during an interview; companies like to know if you’re curious. This allows you to get to know each other as well. Ask questions about open positions and what a typical day on the job may look like.

Dress business professional

Business professional is the proper attire for open interviews, and you want to look your best. It’s important to dress properly because it shows you’re aware of the corporate culture if you are seeking that type of job. It also shows you’re prepared and respectful.

Know your elevator pitch

Prepare an elevator pitch — a short, personal statement — because there will be many people in line waiting for their turn to impress. Introduce yourself and share your major, your school, and your career goal. For example, “Hi my name is Josh, I’m a senior at Michigan State majoring in finance. My goal is to be a financial adviser.”

Arrive early and visit companies you’re most interested in first

Open interviews tend to have massive crowds looking for the same opportunities you’re looking for. It’s important to arrive early so you have a fair chance to talk to each company you hope to speak to. Prioritize the importance of the companies and visit those first so you don’t miss out on a company you’re interested in.

One last tip to be memorable

As you’re visiting each company, pick up business cards from the people you talk with. Write any notes you want to remember about the person or the organization on the back of the card as soon as you walk away. When you get home after the event, send an email to the people you were most excited to meet, thanking them for their time and mentioning something you talked about during your conversation. It’s a good way to reinforce your interest in the company and a good habit to form for your career in general.

©2023 Reseda Group LLC, used under license.