Attending a firm’s Open Day or Insight Evening is one of the best ways to get to know a firm before applying to their Vacation Scheme or Training Contract. You will hear about the firm, have the chance to speak with the recruitment team and importantly, network!
Never underestimate the importance of these events – even if they are held during busy times during the semester. They allow you to gain a deeper insight into the firm but also, it reflects well that you are showing an early interest into the firm by attending their event.
This blog will run you through my top tips on how to impress at one of these events and how to make the most of your time there!
1 – Prepare in advance
As I’ve said, this is your chance to meet the firm and for the recruiters to meet you, so you want to make a good impression. You must carry out some research on the firm beforehand – never go into the event completely blind. This will allow you to develop a deeper knowledge of the firm whilst you’re there rather than merely ‘finding out’ about the firm.
Click on the button to take you to my blog on how to carry out effective firm research:
2 – Have some questions ready
If you’ve carried out your research, you’ll know the basics such as a firm’s sectors and areas of expertise, as well as the deadlines for their programmes. Consider what insightful answers you could get out of the people at the event, rather than things you could easily find on the firm’s website.
This is your chance to ask your questions to a wide range of people from partners to trainees, and the graduate recruitment team. Make the most of your time there!
Think about what questions would be appropriate to the person you’re speaking to: is it appropriate to ask a partner about your questions on the online test or video interview? Probably not. This type of question would be better suited to a member of the recruitment team.
3 – Networking
Besides finding out more about the firm, this is your chance to network with a huge range of people in a single event. Most firms will include a presentation during the evening followed by some (probably informal) networking with drinks and nibbles/whatever the event is (e.g. ‘Pizza and Prosecco nights’). Try and work your way around the room and speak to as many people as you can.
Always introduce yourself (even if you have a name tag on) and find out who you’re speaking to: a partner? A trainee? A recruiter? Having a quick glance at their name tag is a good place to start!
Once your conversation has come to an end always thank the person for their time and insight – these are probably really busy people who have given up time to be at the event to chat with you. Then, ask to keep in contact with them – ask them if they are on LinkedIn and if you can connect with them. This is a great way to be memorable and stay in contact with members of the firm. It is also super handy to see familiar faces when it comes to assessment centres!