Mastering the Informal Interview
Landing an interview is exciting, but also nerve-wracking — especially when you have no idea what to expect. This problem is unfortunately common for informal interviews, which are difficult to define or predict. These interviews are also increasingly difficult to avoid, as many employers prefer this approach. Keep reading for helpful hints on acing a casual interview.
What to Wear
Dressing for an informal interview is tricky, as different people hold dramatically different perceptions of proper attire. In most cases, however, office casual should suffice. You can't go wrong with a pair of nice slacks and a button-down shirt. Some interviews are casual enough to allow for dark wash jeans paired with a blazer.
Do Your Research
While your wardrobe and demeanor may differ somewhat for an informal interview, it's as important as ever to conduct exhaustive research. In most cases, employers are more interested in your abilities and passion than in your attire. The more you know about a particular job opportunity and the organization providing it, the better.
Thorough preparation will make it easier for you to ask a variety of questions throughout the interview. This is important, as informal interviews often involve even exchanges of questions and answers.
The ability to speak freely during an informal interview can be dangerous, especially if you tend to be cynical or sarcastic in casual settings. Maintain an upbeat tone — and avoid making negative remarks about former employers or coworkers.
Be Prepared For an Offer
Occasionally, a successful informal interview may be followed by an on-the-spot offer. If this happens, don't feel pressured to accept immediately. Express your gratitude before taking a day or two to consider your options.
The informal interview allows you to share the unique traits that make you a desirable employee. A little preparation can make a world of difference as you take advantage of this opportunity.Job Search Tips