What questions should I ask employers at career events? A sustainability & environment edition!

Have you interacted with an employer virtually before? Whether you’re a digital veteran or a newcomer to our virtual Career Festivals, webinars and drop-in sessions, you can learn a lot about an industry’s sustainability and environmental initiatives simply by asking focused questions from employers. Read on for ideas about what to ask, with examples relevant to the upcoming Focus on Health, Pharma & Bioscience Festival!

hand reaching to green leaves of a willow tree
Photo by rafael albornoz on Unsplash

Sustainability as a core value is becoming an ever-more established area of industries, including the life sciences, pharmacy and health sectors. But what does that look like in real life? And how can students interested in sustainability within these sectors take steps to learn more about current industry changes and initiatives?

The answer is simple… by asking the right questions!

At King’s Careers, we love to encourage students to find confidence in researching your own pathways, gathering information about careers that interest you and be empowered to take steps that feel right for you. During Covid-19, this has meant our opportunities, such as chances to meet and speak with employers, have all gone virtual. Let’s talk about how you can take the chance of the current Focused Festival, interact with employers and get started with learning about sustainability in this industry.


Sustainability questions to ask employers

Whether you attend a career webinar, masterclass, or an employer drop-in, it’s a great idea to have a quick bank of questions.  Aside from the usual “what’s it like working in this industry”, there are so many things you can ask to get to know each field better. Let’s look at what types of questions you could ask employers to learn more about their values and actions around sustainability.


1) Ask about current Industry Trends

What kind of sustainability actions are currently rising hot topics within your industry? It’s easy to talk about green initiatives, but depending on the industry and employer, sustainability initiatives can really differ. For example, some companies might focus on carbon offsetting or reducing water use as their primary goal. Maybe even smarter packaging or waste innovation. But asking these questions can really set the employers to think critically about their industry, and maybe you might hear about an area of the job that you’d never really considered before, developing your commercial awareness!


Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash
2) Ask thought-provoking questions

Why does the pharma industry need sustainable and environmental thinking? Where do you see sustainability in the industry 5 years from now? By asking something like this, you can potentially learn more about the critical areas that the employer or company deals with, and invite the employer to really ponder about their work and sector in a way that can lead to a very interesting discussion.


3) Ask about how you can learn more

How can students develop more knowledge about sustainability issues in this industry? Whether you study pharmacy, biosciences, or something completely different, asking an employer about how you can best develop your industry knowledge is always a great idea. They might recommend resources, for example sending you a Sustainability Report from their company to take a look at or point you towards interesting reading, training, or internship opportunities. If you are passionate about an aspect of the industry (and this goes for any passion), do share it – it’s only going to help you build success.


Image of hand holding a small globe - click here to read the blog post
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

Some events where you can practice your questions

The Health, Pharma & Bioscience Festival has lots of chances for you to practice speaking with employers and raising queries in learning more about your industries of interest. We would like to highlight to you some upcoming masterclasses, ran by Sysmex, and Johnson & Johnson, whose resources on sustainability and environmental initiatives helped shape this blog post.

Masterclass: Introducing Sysmex – Careers in Healthcare Diagnostics 17 Nov 2020, 11:00 – 12:00

Webinar: A Career in Marketing with Johnson & Johnson, 17-Nov-2020 14:00 – 15:00

Webinar: A Career in Research & Development with Johnson & Johnson 18-Nov-2020 13:00 – 14:00

In addition to these events, you can take a look at the full schedule of the week’s exciting events here.


Join us at the Health, Pharma & Bioscience Festival, 16-20th November.

Our Festival hub can be found in KEATS, where you will see an overview of the week, summarising all events and drop-in times to chat with recruiters.  You can meet the employers and visit their stalls through GraduateLand.

  • Each employer will have a virtual stand with key information about their organisation and the types of roles on offer.
  • Employers will list when they are hosting drop-in sessions for you to meet representatives, ask questions and network. Their booth will also list if they are hosting additional activity such as masterclasses, practise interviews and inclusion specific events.