Informal interviews often take place outside of the office and are generally a lot less stressful than a full-on face to face meeting. Because of this, candidates usually feel a lot more relaxed and confident when it comes to this type of interview, but it’s important to remember that this is still part of the selection process. Whatever you say and do during these informal conversations will still have an impact on whether or not the interviewer decides to invite you to the next stage, or offers you a job.

Informal interviews may be used at the start of the selection process, which is often the case if a company isn’t actively recruiting, but is always keen to have conversations with very good candidates who they may be prepared to create a role for. Or, it may just be an indication of the way the business is run. A lot of modern companies with entrepreneurial management teams are quite laid back in the way they do things, and interviewing new recruits is likely to be no different.

Conduct Yourself as a Professional

Dress and act the role of the position you are seeking. Know as much as possible about the company before the interview so you can ask informed questions.

What to Wear
Dress the way you want to be perceived. We’ve written about this topic. If you want to be taken seriously, dress seriously.

Be Prepared to Answer Questions About What You’re Looking For

Have a short personal statement prepared that you can present if you’re asked about your job search. Bring a resume, but don’t offer it unless requested. Remember, the purpose of this interview is to obtain information.

Take Control of the Conversation
This tip does not mean dominate the conversation. An informal interview will often have less structure and be more conversational. Since a shotgun of questions won’t be fired at you, there are less opportunities to discuss your strengths and skills. So you need to make sure you assert and insert yourself into the conversation when given a chance.
Follow Up is Essential 
After an interview, the follow up is essential. Write your email in a way that focuses on your conversation. Make it original. Revisit your conversation, reaffirm your interests in the role and reiterate why you’d make a good fit. If there were some concerns the recruiter had, use the opportunity to clear up their concerns.

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