10 Tips for Successful Table Talk
Increasingly, employers participating in career fairs are conducting "table talk" sessions in addition to, or in place of, one-on-one interviews. "Table talk" is a less formal information-gathering conversation between employers and prospective employees, similar to a one-on-one informational interview. Below are ten tips for a successful "table talk" session, courtesy of the Office of Career and Professional Development. Make sure to review these tips before attending any career fair. (continued)
- Arrive at the event dressed for an interview, even if you are only participating in table talk.
- Target employers strategically – know who you want to speak to and why. If the event is in a large room, map out your route.
- Don’t hover around a table – step right up and offer the employer a greeting, a firm handshake, and a smile. Project an image that is confident and friendly.
- Maintain good eye contact throughout your conversation.
- Give your well-polished (but not “canned”) elevator pitch/cocktail party speech (2-5 minutes).
- Use this meeting as an informational interview, but be respectful of other participants and keep the meeting brief.
- Ask for an opportunity to give the employer a resume or otherwise apply to open positions.
- Get the employer’s contact information.
- Thank the employer for their time and move on to the next employer you have targeted.
- After the event, be sure to follow up promptly with the connections you made.