Informal Interviews – The New Casual Interviewing Environment!!
As a professional recruiter who has been working recruiting professionals in the environmental, engineering and construction industries for over 18 years now at Webuild Staffing. I have seen many interviews conducted in such an informal setting that they could be considered a conversation rather than an interview; don’t let the setting confuse you..
We are now in a world where everything we do is becoming more and more casual and interviews are no different. Many employers are now trending towards a much more casual and comfortable interview style – the “Informal Interview”. This is most often a meet up for a cup of coffee, quick breakfast or snack and can leave the interviewee confused as to how to proceed, even with simple aspects such as what to wear.
Don’t forget an interview is an interview and you should prepare this informal gathering much the same way you would for a traditional interview. You should still dress just as you would if it was being held in their office. Complete your recommended research on the company so you are educated about your interviewer, their company and what type of employee they value and hire. You should still be prepared to explain your strengths, career plan and goals, the value you bring and how your expertise makes you the ideal candidate. Always bring extra copies of your resume and any samples of work would normally want to have to help present yourself as a very organized and professional manner.
Unlike a traditional interview however, you will usually have more of an opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about their company than you would normally have. There is also the pitfall of allowing the casual setting to let yourself slip into a more casual way of speaking – keep it professional and appropriate – remember, it’s still an interview. It’s not uncommon for an offer to be extended to you in this informal setting, and you should be prepared with how you want to handle this and proceed.
At the end of the interview make sure you get a business card and promptly write and send out a thank you note, as you normally would. When the check comes, it is traditional that the interviewer takes care of it, as they invited you there.
Michael DeSafey is a leading executive recruiter for professionals in the construction, engineering and environmental industries. He is currently the President of Webuild Staffing (www.webuildstaffing.com). To learn more about Michael or Follow his Blog please visit www.michaeldesafey.com