Real Life Indianapolis: What to Expect as an Employer at TPE Onsite

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    Stephanie Sue Rowell
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TPE Onsite is a great opportunity to recruit new employees, market your university, and connect with colleagues from around the world. But what does a day in the life of an employer look like? There's so much to do and to try to squeeze in. Let’s see how we make the most of a week in Indianapolis: 

Before You Arrive

  • Think about the item you plan to put inside candidate mailboxes. Will it fit? While we appreciate creativity, TPE Onsite staff is not able to hand out giveaways or other items from your institution. 
  • You should already have your TPE Onsite interview schedule filled up. Remember, you can close times off for breaks and assign scheduled interviews as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round interviews. In addition, you can also block interviews in 30-minute or 60-minute segments. As you set up your schedule, give yourself a break--just like we tell candidates, don’t schedule a full day of non-stop, back-to-back interviews! Also, be sure to schedule at least 60- to 90-minutes for lunch. Yes, you want to maximize your time and see as many candidates as possible, but you don’t want to overdo it and you'll want some down time to compare notes, write thank-you messages, send invitations for second-round interviews, or screen additional applications received on-site. 
  • Lunch lines can get long. As you can imagine, everyone tries to eat at the same time! If you have extra staff, avoid some of the frenzy by rotating lunch breaks. The break times and lunch time can be a great time to connect to your colleagues. During your break, please utilize the Employer Workroom or an area outside of the Interview Hall in order to limit distractions for people conducting interviews. Finally, when schedule planning, if you prefer less hectic times to conduct interviews, plan your lunch break early or late and interview through the typical lunch break. If you can muster the energy, take advantage of the 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. evening interview times as they tend to be less utilized.  
  • As you pack for TPE Onsite, think about bringing lapel pins or stickers to share with your school’s alumni or former employees. A lot of people like to show their alma mater pride by displaying these items on their name badges and, and it gives you another way to promote your school and help future employees connect with your institution. 
  • Finally, to help make life more enjoyable in the Interview Hall, consider bringing the following things with you: a sweater or jacket (the Interview Hall can be cold), a power strip and charging cords for your electronic devices, and a re-fillable water bottle to take advantage of the water coolers available onsite. 


Take advantage of the 4-hour Interview Hall setup time from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Do not expect to get inside the Interview Hall before 5:00 p.m. If you arrive at the Convention Center right at 5:00 p.m., then check in and grab your registration packet. If you prefer, go to dinner first then come a little later to set up your table and put mail in boxes for candidates.

Wednesday night can be chaotic--you will see friends and colleagues and try to catch up with them while also trying to take care of your interview table setup. Relax and remember there will be plenty of time for everything! Do stop by the hospitality and local arrangements table located near registration. They can point you in the direction of restaurants, convenience stores, and other services that might be useful and time-saving for you in the days ahead. If you have a large interview team, think about researching restaurants prior to arrival and making reservations.

Thursday through Sunday

At this point, you'll develop your own tempo. Inside the Interview Hall:

  • Thursday through Saturday, morning setup is from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Interviews run daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • On Sunday, morning setup starts at 7:45 a.m. Interviews run until 12 p.m. The TPE Onsite event closes at 12 p.m. and move out begins.

Each day, plan to arrive a bit early to check your employer mailboxes, send notes to candidates, and grab a cup of coffee in the Employer Workroom! If you need your morning Starbucks, give yourself 30-45 minutes, as the line can be more than fifty people long!   

We look forward to seeing you in Indy!  

Stephanie Sue Rowell is the Associate Director for Campus Programs at Western Carolina University. She has been an employer for 8 years at The Placement Exchange and is co-chair of the TPE Onsite Employer Services committee.

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