Oct 19, 2018 - 12:23 PM
An informal interview is one in which you meet with a potential hiring manager in a setting that is outside of an office. Of course, the same rules apply as if you were meeting in a traditional office setting. You can expect the interviewer to gauge whether or not your skills and abilities meet the essential functions of the role for which they’re hiring.
Since the interview is away from an office (likely a coffee shop, or somewhere similar), make sure you employ basic rules of etiquette when meeting. For example, if this meeting is at a restaurant over lunch, don’t order the wings or ribs. Those menu items are messy; you generally need to eat them with your hands. You do not want to be eating with your hands in an informal interview.
Don’t equate the informal setting with an informal chat. This is a formal interview – one where an evaluation of your skills and abilities will take place. Just because it is not an office doesn’t mean that the rules of engagement change. Sometimes companies don’t have spaces that are conducive to conducting interviews. Many companies have open office environments in which conference rooms or closed spaces are in short supply, so it makes sense to do the meeting at an offsite location. In some companies, everyone works remotely, so conducting an interview at a restaurant or coffee shop is ideal.
Final word: Treat the informal interview with the same level of preparedness and professionalism as an office-based interview.
Aug 21, 2018 - 09:48 AM
Some companies deliberately foster a laid-back work environment, and as such, they might prefer to conduct interviews in the same style. You can probably ditch slacks and opt for jeans, and you can also stop worrying about hardball questions. The interview will be more like a relaxed conversation than a stressful interrogation, though, which is sure to be a relief.
Knowing this can help you prepare and feel more at easy when it comes time to interview. Informal does not mean that it is any less serious, so you should still maintain a professional demeanor and come ready to answer questions about your skills, experience and interest in the job. Be ready to ask questions of your own, too, so that you can uphold your end of the conversation.