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Virtual Job Fair Recap

January 26, 2012

Virtual Job FairOn January 16, 2012 I co-hosted my first Virtual Job Fair with  Karla Campos of Gig Logo – A Guest Blogging Community.

What is a Virtual Job Fair?  I like to think of it as an online job search clinic – a place for job seekers and recruiters to come together to network, learn from each other, post jobs or source candidates. Karla and I had a 12 hour day of almost constant engagement with participants on Facebook and Twitter (with the hashtag #JobClinic)

Here are some of the highlights of the day:

ATTENDANCE: 67 people RSVP’d for the event.

QUESTIONS: 20 inquiries relating to a variety of job search topics, including panel interviews, working with agencies, resume writing, non-traditional resumes and more.

JOB POSTINGS: 20 links to individual job postings or company careers pages.

CONNECTIONS: 17 participants shared their elevator pitch and online networking information.

GUEST PRESENTERS: 1, Isela Talamantes from Green Talent Staffing  shared the outlook for green careers and discussed the best ways to work with staffing agencies.

Following is one of the questions that came up during the day:

Question posted  By Mark Van Baale, Manager of the Kansas City Job Seekers Blog :

Q) What are some suggestions/advice on how to prepare for interviews with a panel or group of people?

ANSWERS:

By Karleen Harp, Co-host:

First, do some research on the company. Search LinkedIn to see if you have any connections who work there and ask them what to expect. Glassdoor.com is another place where job seekers can see notes of interview experiences of candidates who have interviewed there, including some of the questions they were asked.

Panel interviews are useful for both the candidate and the company. It saves time, and it ensures that everyone involved in the hiring decision has been exposed to the same candidate experience. A series of 1:1 interviews can result in one home run interview, followed by a strike-out. This can be a reflection of the interviewer’s skills, not the candidate’s, but the effect can be detrimental to the candidate.

Calming nerves is something that requires practice. I recommend that candidates practice answers to common questions in advance. Video yourself and playback until you can deliver the answers smoothly. Joining Toastmasters can also help improve confidence in front of a group, which will help with panel interviews.

PARTICIPANT ANSWERS:

By James Thompson, guest:

Take the time to think through tough questions and come up with good answers to them beforefoing into the panel. Obviously knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and goals is a good first step.

By Karen Loomis, guest:

I’ve found it useful to get the individuals names who will be involved & then research them. Find out what makes them tick. That way they seem like everyday people vs. an interrogator. I love finding common ground.

If you couldn’t make it that day, but are wondering what you missed, you can still review the event timeline and full Q&A directly on the event page wall at: Virtual Job Fair

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2012 1:17 AM

    A great summary, Thanks for the update, Karleen.

  2. January 27, 2012 1:23 AM

    This is very interesting Karleen, the idea of an online job fair must be a good one, especially in these economically difficult times. I see you make use of Facebook and Twitter to interact with folk at the fair I will look out for these in the future.

  3. January 27, 2012 9:06 AM

    I’m so glad that the job fair went so well for you. Is it something that you intend to turn into a regular event?

    • January 27, 2012 10:28 AM

      Kittie, this event inspired me to transform my Facebook page into sort of an ongoing virtual job fair. Just this week I introduced Open Mic Mondays, where I invite job seekers to introduce themselves and post their links. I will choose one job seeker each week for Featured Friday, where I will promote them on all my platforms – Twitter, Google +, FB, and blog.

      I’m brainstorming ways to help recruiters out on my page too, with a different day just for them to promote their employer brand to job seekers.

  4. January 27, 2012 9:28 AM

    Hi Karleen,

    You provided awesome tips. I love the idea of virtual job fairs. Yours sounds like it went great.

    One of the things I took away from my past group interviews is to remember to look and smile at each person in the room. You don’t want to fall into the trap of focusing on just one or two people.

    Sherrie

  5. January 27, 2012 9:59 AM

    Hello Karleen,

    Wow! you have been so busy! You are giving a great idea as to why these events are truly beneficial! For a lot of reasons people get confused and lack directions when comes time to look for Job opportunities. I think you are on to something truly amazing and you also seem to love it so this is a win/win situation! Keep us up to date 😉

  6. February 2, 2012 3:13 AM

    wow! great!

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