Public Service Job Fair Tips
- Equal Justice Works Job Fair: late October in Washington, DC area
- Public Interest Law Career Fair: early February in New York, NY
- Arrive early: 20 minutes before scheduled interview or before start of table talk session
- Be prepared: Wifi and copiers are often not available: research ahead and bring all materials
- Bring shoes: if the weather is bad, wear street shoes and carry dress shoes
- Your stuff: coat check may be available, but be prepared to carry everything all day
- Contacting OPS: email Karen Comstock or Liz Peck: they will be on-site and checking email
- Interviews are conducted concurrently in shared space (often a large, noisy room)
- Arrive early to interview room and wait nearby your interviewer's table
- Approach/hover near the table at your interview time
- Watch interviewer for signal to sit down
Table Talk Basics
- What is Table Talk? Informal discussions with employers on a first-come, first-served basis.
- What does it look like? Employers sit at individual tables in a big room across from empty chairs. Job seekers sit in chairs and strike up conversations.
- Do people really get jobs this way? Yes! If you are prepared and active, table talk can lead to employment.
Table Talk Tips
- Arrive early to the first session. The room will be quiet, the interviewer fresh, and you'll demonstrate that you are on the ball.
- Make your number #1 choice your #2 visit. Use your first visit a warm up.
- Don’t visit every employer. Have a list, visit those employers, leave. Rooms are loud and crowded: hanging around is stressful.
- For your favorite employers, be prepared. Before the fair, research and draft a cover letter. (Read our cover letter advice and have OPS review your letter before the fair.) At the fair, give your materials to the interviewer as you sit down.
- At the end, get a business card so you can send a thank-you note.
- Right after your conversation, leave the room and make notes about the discussion.
- What about employers you haven’t researched? Quietly take materials from their table, leave the room, review handouts, do on-line research. Return ready to answer “Why do you want to work here?”