Confirm The Meeting Location And Time
Confirm the time and place of the informal interview with the interviewer a day or two ahead of time. If you’re meeting at a restaurant with many locations or a franchise, make sure the address is clear. Plan your day by looking for nearby parking spots or selecting the best public transit route to arrive on time. Consider perusing the menu before the interview to choose what type of beverage or food to purchase to save time in the encounter.
Use Typical Interview Questions In Your Practice
Prepare for questions from your interviewer by researching typical interview questions for your role and practising your response. Answering sample interview questions may substantially boost your confidence and make you feel more at ease discussing your qualifications in a casual interview. To enhance your interviewing technique, ask a trusted family or friend to perform a mock interview and provide feedback on your responses.
Choose A Business Casual Outfit
When getting ready for the informal interview, choose an appropriate outfit for the setting while maintaining a professional appearance. Look at photos on the company website for inspiration about the ideal dress code for the meeting. Start with a basic, clean outfit you might wear in the workplace. You can be more creative with your style during informal interviews by adding an interesting piece of jewellery or choosing a garment with bright colours or interesting patterns.
Related:How To Prepare for an Interview
Read Also: Questions To Ask A Cfo During An Interview
The Why And How Of Informal Interviews
Lets meet over a coffee, or beer. Informal interviews are increasingly common, but can be disconcerting for newbies.
Theyre often a stepping stone to the formal interview and offer both interviewers and candidates the chance to size each other up.
What do I wear? What will they ask? What should I take? Follow our tips and well help you walk the informal interview tightrope.
The first thing, says Robert Walters director Shay Peters, is to understand why organisations hold informal interviews. Its almost always to see if you fit the culture of the organisation.
Often this is just as important as hard skills, adds Danielle Ross, executive consultant at Parker Bridge Recruitment.
Informal interviews and phone interviews also save the organisation time and money in the recruiting process, says Peters. Instead of three managers spending an hour in a formal interview setting, one is able to verify if youre likely to be right for the role.
Finally, beware of curveballs. Peters has heard of instances where the casual coffee turned out to be in a meeting room and was for all intents and purposes a full-on interview. Always be prepared.
The reality is that its a job interview and you need to walk the line between friendly, but professional, without letting your guard down too much.
What To Wear To An Informal Interview
Default to business casual. The only reason to change is if the venue is very different. For example:
- If youre in Silicon Valley, you can be less formal jeans and a T-shirt or button-down are probably fine. But still hold the shorts and flip flops till youre the founder.
- If youre meeting for athletic activities, dress appropriately.
- If youre meeting at a club or nicer restaurant, observe the dress code.
Recommended Reading: Questions To Ask The Cfo In An Interview
How To Follow Up After A Casual Interview
After your relaxed interview, following up with the company can confirm your interest in the position and remind the interviewer of your interview. Your enthusiasm can encourage the company to recall you for another interview or offer you the position. Here are the steps for following up after a casual interview:
Verify The Meeting Place And Time
A day or two before the informal interview, confirm the time and location with the interviewer. If you’re meeting at a chain or a restaurant with multiple locations, clarify the address to eliminate any confusion. Plan for the day by researching nearby places to park your car or choosing the best public transportation route to arrive on time. Consider browsing the menu before the interview and decide what kind of drink or meal to order and save time during the meeting.
You May Like: Interview Attire Womens
Be Careful What You Share
Some recruiters will use informal meetings to pick your brain about other potential candidates, especially if they sense that their opening is not appropriate for you.
Gather as much information about the job as possible, but refrain from sharing any of your contacts’ names until you clear it with them. Your contacts may have a reason that they don’t want to affiliate with a particular recruiter or appear to be in job-hunt mode.
What Should I Expect At An Informal Interview
First, the logistics. Although it can be held at an employerâs office, the location of the interview will often be a neutral place. Recruiters will probably foot the bill for any food or drink, but be sure to take your own money just in case. You may be wondering what to wear for an informal interview â generally speaking, full business attire is not necessary. A smart, clean outfit should be fine. If in doubt, take a look at the images of the workplace on the organisationâs website.
An informal interview â its overall tone â will feel like more of a conversation than a formal Q& A session. You are likely to talk more and be able to ask more questions than you would in a classic interview. Be prepared to fill in any silences. You may learn more personal information about the interviewer, and exchange more about yourself, than you would in a formal setting.
You May Like: What Should Females Wear To A Job Interview
At The End Of The Selection Process
Conversely, informal interviews take place at the end of the selection process after the formal stages.
At this stage, they can help a hiring manager decide between equal candidates based on their cultural fit.
Sometimes the company really wants to hire the candidate. An informal interview can be used by the hiring manager as a way of selling the role in a way that a more formal interview cannot.
For example, the informal nature can show a certain type of organizational culture.
The informal interview can also be used at the end of the selection process if there are sensitive topics to discuss.
For example, the company may not be able to meet the candidates salary expectations but want to convince them anyway.
Or perhaps the manager wants to verify your motivations and interest in the role to assure themselves that youre committed.
How Do I Ask For An Interview
Now that youve decided who youd like to interview, its time to ask if theyre interested. This should be done privately by email, online platform or social media that allows messaging. Its not appropriate to ask for an informational interview across an open social media platform such as Twitter or Facebook. Your message should be professional and polite, clearly stating why you are specifically reaching out to them.
Also Check: Top 10 Behavioral Questions
Conduct Research On Your Interviewer
If you know who is conducting the informal interview, look up information about their work and accomplishments. Learn about their job at the firm and explore their professional interests by browsing the company’s directory page or searching professional social media sites. Basic research on your interviewer may uncover links, such as belonging to the same professional group or attending the same educational institution.
Employ Active Listening Strategies
Informal interviews provide an excellent chance to interact one-on-one with an interviewer and establish a solid professional connection. Make eye contact, paraphrase the interviewer’s views, ask clarifying questions and wait for an opportune time to express your own perspectives as active listening methods. By facing the interviewer, nodding periodically and smiling, you can demonstrate active listening.
Also Check: Women’s Outfit For Job Interview
How Should I Prepare
Ok, so youve decided that the interview is informalthe next question ishow do I prepare? Well, pretty much in the same way you would for a formal interview.
- Its still really important to research the company, and the person you will be meeting, if possible you could check out their LinkedIn profile for this
- Prepare some good questions to help you get to know the role/company youre interviewing for
- Take along any relevant materials/ideas to help you stand out
- Think about why you want to join the company, what your ideal career path might look like, and any key skills that you can bring. Even though things are informal, these types of questions may still form part of the conversation
What Is A Formal Interview
A formal interview is a meeting between an employer and a potential candidate that always takes place in a professional setting. It is the traditional form of an interview that has been the norm for decades. A formal interview will usually occur in the employer’s office building, and the interview structure is strictly professional.
Everything ranging from the dress code to the conversation is usually professional in a formal interview. The purpose of a formal interview is for the employer to decide whether or not the applying candidate is good enough for the vacant position.
Some employers might decide to hold a formal interview over dinner in an informal setting, but the candidate must dress up formally. The attire of the candidate is a significant factor in a formal interview.
Similarly, the candidate must maintain his/her professionalism throughout the formal interview. Even though many companies are opting for an informal recruitment approach, traditional interviews are still the norm for the recruitment process.
Most companies still opt for the trusted formal interview type. They might also expect candidates to respect the professionalism required to participate in one. But the other type of interview has gained a lot of traction lately.
Let us see what an informal interview is and what purpose does it serve.
Read Also: Interview Attire Women
What To Expect In An Informal Interview
- Be able to answer the question, What is an informal interview?
- Know how to prepare for an informal interview.
- Understand why more and more employers are holding informal interviews.
You know the drill for an in-person interview: Dress the part. Sit up straight. Dont have anything stuck in your teeth. But just as more and more companies are doing away with jackets and ties, more employers are opting for informal interviews. In this article, well look at the ins and outs of informal interviews, including what to bring and how to prepare.
Ask What Happens Next
As your interview draws to a close, ask your interviewer about the next steps of the recruitment process. There may be a formal interview next, an aptitude or technical test or the company may have enough information to make their final decision. The interviewer should also tell you when you might expect to hear if you have progressed in the process. This information can help you decide when it’s appropriate to follow up with the interviewer.
Read Also: Questions To Ask A Cfo In An Interview
Informal Interviews: How To Succeed And Secure That Job
Informal interviews can be tricky.
But by preparing in advance, performing well during, and following up smartly after the interview you can increase your chances of getting that new job.
Lets look at what makes an informal interview different and how you can make sure you secure that job offer.
Lets dive in to our informal interview tips
Follow Up After The Meeting
Ask the person you met for his or her business card so that you have the information you need to follow up.
It’s important to follow up after the meeting, especially if you sense that there will be viable opportunities available through the recruiter. Since a primary goal for their meeting may have been to feel you out in terms of your interest level, make sure that your follow-up email or letter clearly affirms your interest in exploring things further, if that is the case.
If you have learned about a specific job or role that appeals to you, mention a few discrete strengths that might allow you to add value to the company.
If the recruiter has hinted at any reservations or any areas of your background that didn’t quite fit, try to supply them with information that would counter those concerns.
Even if you aren’t interested in the company, send a brief thank-you note. Also, if you aren’t already connected. A quick cup of coffee could turn into a future employment opportunity, even if the timing and job aren’t a good fit right now.
Recommended Reading: Interview Questions For A Cfo
Is An Informal Interview A Good Sign
Yes. In a nutshell, it means an employer wants to meet you. It is natural to wonder why the interview is classed as ‘informal’, however. The popularity of informal interviews has increased in recent years, in part because many employers are keen to highlight their relaxed company culture to prospective employees. There are other reasons for informal interviews , however, such as:
- to help the employer flesh out a job role they havenât completely decided on, by assessing what skills different candidates could bring to the company â it could be that the employer is unsure whether the role should be aimed at a fresh graduate or someone with more experience
- because you have sent in a speculative application and, although there is no role available for you currently, employers are impressed enough to want to get to know you in case one becomes available
- there are multiple job roles on offer and recruiters are not sure which youâd be best suited for
- as an initial screening process, to ascertain if itâs worth your and their time to continue with the application process
- at the end of the recruitment process, when employers want to make 100% sure that strong candidates are a good âfitâ for the company.
What Is The Purpose Of An Informal Interview
Because they take place in a less formal atmosphere, informal interviews can give you and your future employer important insights that you may not have acquired in a formal encounter. To learn more about what is an informal interview, you can consider some of the most important benefits of having one:
Ensures efficiency: Informal interviews allow you and a prospective employer to quickly determine whether a position is a suitable fit for your talents. Both of you can save time by organising an informal interview during your usual coffee or lunch break.
Allows for cultural fit assessment: Because many people find it easier to express their actual selves in a casual atmosphere, employers might utilise informal interviews to assess your capacity to thrive in the current workplace culture.
Allows for discussion of several vacant roles: If you want to work for a certain firm but aren’t sure which job to take, you may utilise the informal interview to go over your alternatives in depth.
Promotes better information clarity: After an official and formal interview in the office, some organisations conduct informal interviews to clarify your responses and follow-up on your abilities.
Recommended Reading: System Design Interview Preparation
What Is An Interview: Definition Objectives Types & Guidelines
What is the yardstick to know how capable a candidate is to a certain profession?
How do you measure and reward a candidate for the skills he possesses?
An interview is an answer to know and ascertain how to fit a man to the required job. An interview is beneficial to both the candidate and the organization, for it helps them to grow. So, what is interview?
What To Ask The Recruiter
One advantage of a less formal interview is that you can ask some questions early on to learn more about prospective opportunities since you may not have been given a formal job description.
Asking questions like, “Can you tell me a bit more about why you’ve reached out to me?” or “You’ve mentioned some potential changes in your operations can you tell me more about how someone like me might fit into that picture?” will help you to develop a clearer idea of which of your assets might best meet the employer’s needs.
It will also help clarify for you whether you are interested in the job.
Don’t Miss: Best Interview Attire For A Woman
Preparing For An Informal Interview
During your job search, a prospective employer might invite you for an interview to gauge your suitability for the open position. The two most common interview styles you’re likely to take part in are a traditional interview or informal interview. Informal interviews are becoming an increasingly popular method of evaluating a candidate’s suitability for a vacancy. In this article, we explore what an informal interview is, how to prepare for one, and provide some helpful informal interview tips.
Get To Know Your Interviewee
Now itâs time to meet with your interviewee. Be proactive: suggest an exact time and place to meet or be the one to send the Zoom invite. Express your enthusiasm and gratitude before, during, and after the interview.
The interview itself should be enjoyable. It may be helpful to think like a journalist: Practice active listening, take notes, and engage in the conversation. Let it flow. Ask about the person, their job, and the sector, in a manner that is both polite and positive. Be sure you donât take up more than the allotted time.
Sometimes, interviews may fall flat because it turns out that they are not your ideal resource. In that case, they might be able to give you recommendations and connect you with the right person. Sometimes, these conversations are instant connections, and you find yourself speaking with a new confidante who is equally passionate about similar topics.
Read Also: Design Interview Preparation