10 Tips for Successful Table Talk

Posted by OPI at 11:25 AM in Miscellaneous

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)

  1. Arrive at the event dressed for an interview, even if you are only participating in table talk.
  2. Target employers strategically – know who you want to speak to and why.   If the event is in a large room, map out your route.
  3. 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.
  4. Maintain good eye contact throughout your conversation.
  5. Give your well-polished (but not “canned”) elevator pitch/cocktail party speech (2-5 minutes).
  6. Use this meeting as an informational interview, but be respectful of other participants and keep the meeting brief.
  7. Ask for an opportunity to give the employer a resume or otherwise apply to open positions.
  8. Get the employer’s contact information.
  9. Thank the employer for their time and move on to the next employer you have targeted.
  10. After the event, be sure to follow up promptly with the connections you made.