Sep 05, 2017

How To Set Up A Mock Career Fair in Your School

The NGPF team recently visited Carlmont High School (Belmont, CA), where we were able to observe and participate in a Mock Career Fair set up by math teacher John Rowe. Not only did this activity help the students get a sense of what a typical career fair is like, but afterwards we were able to give them constructive advice as to how they should present themselves and respond during an actual career fair. We created this step-by-step set of instructions for teachers looking to host a Mock Career Fair of their own! (Note: The following instructions are set to only last the duration of one class period, but they can be altered to accommodate more than one class if need be.)

PREP: It will help the students if they spend half a class period prior to the Mock Career Fair to memorize five key points of their resume, and afterwards they can partner up to ask each other a few typical questions that an interested employer might ask. You could also create your own set of questions such as: “What makes you a valuable asset to this company?” “Name two of your strengths and weaknesses” “Why do you want to work for us?”


  1. Set aside a whole class period for this activity. Try to get about 6-8 teachers (this number will vary depending on who has a free period during your class) and task them with representing jobs that a high school graduate would typically seek, such as a barista at Starbucks, a commissioned retail employee at Forever 21, or a grocery stocker or cashier at Trader Joe’s.
  2. Print out about 20-30 “business cards” (a different color for each job) for each teacher. Include their name, the company they represent, and their phone number. The teachers will act as employers looking to hire.
  3. Set up 6-8 tables/desks around the perimeter of the room in a circle, and make sure to include an entrance way. Ideally, the teachers should be standing in front of these desks so that they’re all facing the middle where the students are congregated.
  4. Print out the names of the companies that the teachers represent, and tape them to the desk so the students can easily see them.
  5. Have students familiarize themselves with the companies by going around the circle. They should spend about 3-5 minutes with each “employer,” and afterwards that “employer” can give them 1-2 minutes of feedback on how they presented themselves and what they can do better.

GOAL: In addition to gaining interview experience, the objective for each student is to eventually garner as many “business cards” as they can within the time allotted.

BONUS: Now that the students have experienced a Mock Career Fair, ask them if the activity is anything like they anticipate an actual career fair to be like. How was it helpful to them? Give them some general feedback (i.e. handshake strength, eye contact, voice volume, etc). Alternatively, sit down with each student and conduct a one-on-one to give them some pointers.

NGPF Link: If you liked this article, check out this helpful video from our Video Library on navigating through a career fair!

Additionally, check out our lesson plan: Networking, Informational Interviews, and Career Fairs to help students learn valuable communication skills and techniques so they can be more prepared for their next interview.

About the Author

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

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