How to Get Ready for a Casual Job Interview
Informal interviews are a great way to show a recruiter how useful you could be to a company. Informal interviews take place in a casual setting and give the potential employer a chance to see how you act and talk outside of an office. Even though an informal interview is meant to be relaxed, it still needs the same amount of preparation as a traditional interview. How to Get Ready for a Casual Job Interview
This article will show you how to get ready for a casual interview, how to make a good impression on the recruiter during the interview, and what you should do to follow up afterward.
What does an informal interview look like?
Informal interviews happen outside of the office, like over lunch or coffee, in a relaxed setting. Informal interviews aren’t set up like traditional interviews, but they usually have the same goal: to find out if a candidate would be a good fit for a company. Informal interviews are also sometimes used to find out if a candidate wants to work for a certain company.
How to get ready for a relaxed gathering
Here are the most important things you should do to get ready for a casual interview.
1. See what you can do.
Find out as much as you can about the company, its products or services, and how well it has done in the past. Find out who are its biggest competitors. Look at the company’s blog and social media sites.
See if you know anyone who works there by looking at LinkedIn. If you do, they might be able to tell you more about the company, its culture, and even the department you would work in.
2. Consider the job.
If the interview is for a specific job, read the job description carefully and think about what the company wants in a candidate. Make a list of the skills, knowledge, and traits that are most important for the job.
3. Match your qualifications
Once you know what skills are important for the job, you can look at your own qualifications and see how well they match up with the job requirements. Make a list of up to 10 assets, like skills, certifications, abilities, knowledge, and education. Think of specific times at your old jobs when you used some of your skills.
4. Have your work history ready to talk about.
Be ready to talk about what you want to do with your career in the long run. Make a list of your skills that have helped you add value in the past.
5. Give some suggestions
Be ready to talk about how you would fit in with the company and what you would bring to the job.
Advice for a relaxed interview
Check out these tips to help you do well in an informal interview.
Just like you would for a formal interview, come up with questions to ask the interviewer. Some questions you could ask are:
- Could you tell me more about why you contacted me?
- What do you think will happen to the business in the next year?
- What do you like about what you do for a living?
- How do you like working there the most?
- What problems does the business have right now?
- What do you think my place will be?
Bring your business card, copies of your resume, and a portfolio with a pen and paper so you can take notes.
During the interview, it’s important to practice active listening, since you may need to repeat some details to keep the conversation going. Make eye contact, nod when the interviewer says something you agree with, smile to show that you’re interested, and restate important points in your own words. You could say, “I want to talk about something you said…” or “I agree with you about…”
Keep your guard up
Because informal interviews are less formal, candidates often talk too much. But remember that the interviewer will still pay close attention to everything you say and do. Don’t say anything bad about your former bosses, coworkers, or employers. Keep things professional.
Wear clothes that are business casual or smart casual to work.
Since the interview is informal, you should wear business casual or, depending on the industry, smart casual. Some examples of smart casual include jeans with a blazer, a button-down shirt with khakis, a blazer over a t-shirt and nice jeans, or a nice top with tailored jeans.
Prepare to make a bid
In some cases, you might get a job offer right away or soon after the interview. You should be ready to show how excited you are, but you don’t have to decide right away. Give yourself time to decide if you want to take the job or not.
How to stay in touch after a casual interview
After a casual interview, it’s important to send a follow-up email or letter. Here are the steps you need to take next.
1. Talk about the things you enjoy.
Use the follow-up letter to show that the company or job is still of interest to you.
2. Take care of any worries you have.
If there are parts of your background that don’t quite fit the job or you think the interviewer might have other doubts, you can use the letter to address those worries.
3. Look at some sample letters
Look at some examples of follow-up letters to get an idea of what you should write.
4. Make sure the letter is correct.
Check your letter for spelling and grammar mistakes before you send it. Read the letter out loud or send it to someone else to check to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Check the spelling of the recipient’s name and make sure it matches what it says on their business card or in any emails they’ve sent you.
5. Send in fewer than 24 hours
Send your letter within 24 hours of your interview. If you send an email, you can send it even sooner.