How To Plan for Virtual Interviews and Career Fairs

Best Practices for Video Career Fairs

Virtual Career Fairs

I spent August and September speaking with university career centers and employers about how they are changing their programs for early talent recruiting.  My goal was to identify details not widely known that impact students /graduates in their job search. Then to offer advice on how to change your job search so you have a better chance of securing internships or full-time jobs.

Lesson #1: 2020-2021 Virtual Interviews and Career Fairs Will Not Work Well

Everyone knows now that interviews are on video. No more in-person interviews until the pandemic has subsided.  What isn’t widely discussed is that tools for remote recruiting may not adequate. Few universities and companies are conducting dry runs of their career fair and recruiting tools to uncover the limitations of the tools. And there is no standard set of software tools used. Each university career center decides which tools to use. One employer reported using 6 different virtual career fair tools at 6 different universities.


The result: Students will be impacted.  You will likely have stressful and error-prone interviews and may not present yourself well to employers.


Here are some examples:


  • One private university offered times when students could attend a company presentation. But the video rooms were set-up incorrectly. The employer couldn’t see the students and the students couldn’t ask questions.  What a mistake!
  • Silicon Valley Large tech employer’s answer to “How will you participate in campus recruiting”? Answer: “It’s a mess. Everyone is trying to figure it out.”


In fairness to the universities and employers, adapting to the huge seismic shift in the recruiting process is no small feat.


  • Spring 2020 – Recruiting thrown into lockdown overnight…. Universities switching to remote recruiting overnight.
  • Summer 2020 – Employers cancel or reduce internships programs length, content and social programs. Universities spend huge amount of time reengineering recruiting processes for Fall 2020 with untested tools and limited budgets.

Lesson #2: Assert Yourself When Technology Fails

  • Anticipate technology “urps” and “opps”. Prepare by testing the technologies / tools used in advance of the career fair or interview.


  • Report any problems to your Career Center and Employer. Career Center is your advocate and can go to bat for you with a company. Legally, employers need to have a fair, equitable interview for each candidate.


  • Ask for another interview if the technology failed. Failures could include features of the platform not working or low bandwidth interfering with audio or video. Technology failures do not include being unfamiliar with the tool. You are responsible for learning about the tool in advance of the interview.


  • Don’t Give Up! Tenacity will help. Read more on how HERE.