02/08/2022 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Hiring Conferences: The Don’t List

Illustration of the word Do's with a checkmark and the word Don'ts with an X

With our hiring conferences underway, we’ve spent a lot of time giving you pointers about what to do. You know what to expect, you've reviewed the etiquette for our virtual and in-person conferences, and you know how to use the Conference Module to send schools messages of interest.

But do you know what to avoid? Here it is, and we hope it helps: the CS&A hiring conference don’t list. 

1. Don’t Show Up Unprepared

If you were interviewing on-campus, you’d make sure you researched the school, rehearsed interview questions, and identified how specifically you can contribute to the school.  The same is true at our hiring conferences. Though your interviews will be abbreviated (you’ll have a 30-minute time slot with each school), these are official, formal interviews. Treat them as such — be ready to respond to serious interview questions about your background, your goals, and what you can bring to a school. Ultimately, these conversations could lead to additional longer interviews and/or a campus visit in the days and weeks after the event.

2. Don’t Go MIA

Our conferences last all day — registration opens at 7:00 AM, and interviews usually extend from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Our multi-day events last even longer. It’s understandable that you might not be able to attend the entire event or that you need to step out for a snack or a phone call. Don’t go missing, though — make sure you mark your availability accurately on your schedule.

Another related don't: don't ghost schools that request interviews from you. It can be frustrating for a hiring contact if they attempt to schedule an interview with you and you simply don’t show up without formally canceling the interview in the Conference Module. This will only reflect poorly on you, so ensure you are where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there.

3.  Don’t Say “No”

You might enter a conference with a specific idea about the schools that interest you — and those that don’t. Don’t dismiss or cancel interviews, though — we’ve had many candidates surprise themselves by finding schools they’d never considered to be great fits. This is especially true on the day of the conference; with schools' busy schedules, it's unlikely you'll fill a last-minute cancelation with another interview. We reiterate what we advise throughout the job-search process: keep your options open and be as flexible as possible.

4.  Don’t Interrupt

We understand: conferences are exciting, stimulating experiences. Prospective employers from fantastic schools abound, and you want to speak with everyone.

Remember, though: this is a formal event. Present yourself well by remaining polite and respectful. Schedule time to talk with a hiring contact at a school that interests you, or talk to a Placement Associate for help. Do not interrupt a hiring contact, particularly while they are interviewing another candidate. Most schools have packed schedules and very little time for impromptu conversations.

5.  Don’t Dress Down

We can’t say it enough: these hiring events are opportunities for you to present yourself well to a plethora of prospective employers. Don’t treat a conference like an informal networking event, because that’s not what it is. Stay professional throughout, starting with the way you dress. Wear business attire: a blouse and skirts or slacks, a suit or jacket, etc.

6.  Don’t Freak Out

A bit like speed-dating, hiring conferences can be overwhelming and exhausting (and also — unlike speed-dating — incredibly rewarding). If you let yourself, you could end up stressing. Don’t. If you show up to the conference with gaps in your schedule, that’s okay — not everyone will have a full day of interviews, and not every school attending the conference will be a right fit for you. If you’re not immediately offered a follow-up interview, don’t panic — these are first-round interviews, and the school needs some time to consider your candidacy. Focus on what you can do: present yourself to as many schools as possible to keep your options open. At the end of the day, all it takes is one.

Haven’t registered for a conference yet? What are you waiting for?! Click here for more information.

Back to Blog

Leave a Comment


There are no comments on this blog entry.