The Art of Curiosity

The Fall Career Fair at Syracuse University took place at the Carrier Dome yesterday. I met with several hospitality recruiters in the Dome and asked them about their recruiting experience with different schools in the Northeastern region. They did not compare the calibers of students from different hospitality schools, but they indicated that they prefer those schools where students are curious about what their companies are doing and ask a lot of questions. I have found it very interesting that recruiters’ impression of a good hospitality program is not built upon how many students sign up for an interview, how many graduates they hire, or even how well the graduates perform at work after they are hired. Instead, they value the students’ curiosity.  

When making a presentation on campus, recruiters can tell whether students have interest in their companies and the hospitality industry in general by observing students’ behaviors and listening to their questions. If students are quiet or playing with their cell phones (that is actually very rude), recruiters know that these students have no passion about the industry --- “if they have passion for the industry and their major, they would LOVE to know what we are doing as compared to others even if they do not want to work for us,” a recruiter said.  

Earlier this year, I published a qualitative study and another quantitative-focused study about hospitality recruiters’ selection criteria in college recruiting. According to the research findings, it is very important that students ask engaging and intellectual questions during the recruiting-selection process if they want to get a job offer. If students are interested in a topic, they will pay attention. For those who are curious enough to pay attention, they must also know the subject very well before they can come up with engaging and intellectual questions. I completely understand why recruiters will judge candidates or even the quality of a hospitality program based on the curiosity shown by the students.

Curiosity also works in both ways. If a job candidate does not feel that a recruiter is “curious” about her/his education and previous work experience, s/he may probably feel disappointed for the recruiter and the company.

Besides what is discussed above, what else can you tell based on a person’s curiosity?

References:
The picture was downloaded from the Center for Career Services at Syracuse University. 

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