What should you ask a potential employer at the Graduate Careers Fair?

The gradireland Graduate Careers Fair is an amazing opportunity to meet and ask questions of potential employers. Many companies also bring graduates who are currently on their graduate programmes to attend their stand, so you can ask them what life within these companies is really like! These conversations are great opportunities for networking, and can help you decide your future career path or give you that nugget of ‘insider information’ that can help you through the application and interview process and ensure that you beat the competition to land the perfect graduate job.


The team here at gradireland have put together a few questions for you to ask potential employers at the Graduate Careers Fair.

Question 1: How many graduates do you take on each year and do you employ graduates from courses like mine?

This question will help determine whether or not it is worth asking the next questions! It is important to ascertain that an employer is hiring, or, that they will be doing so in the not-too-distant future. Equally it’s good to know if the employer has successfully hired graduates with a similar background to you – this question can get the conversation off to a positive foot, or end it nice and early! If the answer is no but you are keen to work for that employer or in that sector, ask about any conversion courses that you might take that they have successfully hired from!

Question 2: What are the most important competencies you look for in graduates during the selection process?

All employers have criteria they look for when hiring. Some are quite defined, others relate to that elusive ‘fit’. Discover the answers to the question and, if you decide to apply, present your application in a way which showcases your corresponding attributes.

Question 3: What will my first year in the organisation be like?

This question allows the recruiter to talk about your induction, training and development, opportunities for travel, and any promotion opportunities for high-performing graduates. gradireland research has shown that these are the most significant factors for students and graduates when considering which employer they would most likely work for.

Question 4: Tell me the single most important thing you would advise any graduate considering applying for a role with your organisation to do!

Not strictly a question, but if you can get the answer then you have the inside track which could give you that all-important edge over your competition throughout the selection process.

… and if you are not in your final year:

Question 5: Do you have internship programmes and how can I get on them?

gradireland research shows that over 86% of graduate recruiters run internship programmes, and that the recruiters themselves see completing a relevant internship as the single most useful thing a graduate can do to improve their employability. It’s a great way to find out about a company, a sector of work, and of course to land a graduate job further down the line.

We would also recommend having a few copies of your CV to hand when speaking to employers; you never know when you’ll need them!

The gradireland Graduate Careers Fair is taking place in the RDS Simmonscourt on Wednesday 7th October at 11am, attendees can register at graduatecareersfair.com for free entry.

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