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Relax! It’s An Informal Interview!

An informal interview is usually classed as a casual conversation between either two individuals which is usually conducted in a relaxed setting outside of the formalities of a typical office setting.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
June 24, 2024

An informal interview is usually classed as a casual conversation between either two individuals which is usually conducted in a relaxed setting outside of the formalities of a typical office setting. Unlike traditional job interviews which can follow a regimented and structured format from start to finish and where the sole focus is on job related questions, an informal interview may cover a diverse range of topics and are focused on making the interview far more comfortable for the prospective employee.

Informal interviews can be initiated by an individual who is seeking out a new opportunity and wishes to speak with someone with experience in their field of interest. They provide a unique chance for individuals to gather information, seek advice and build relationships with various professionals within a specified industry before making any firm commitments or decisions.. Informal interviews allow both parties to engage in a candid yet relaxed conversation with the pressure taken away which is so often felt in a formal interview. They can take place casually over coffee, lunch or even over the phone!

Topics such as industry trends, job responsibilities, professional challenges and personal experiences can be discussed freely without being guided by a predetermined set of stereotypical interview based questions and the conversation flows naturally due to the interests, comments and questions of the participants themselves. For a job seeker, this can act as a very valuable experience where much insight, perspectives and information can be taken from professionals in a relaxed environment.

An informal interview is a fantastic opportunity to forge genuine connections with professionals in your industry, so be authentic. Authenticity paves the way for meaningful conversations.

Familiarise yourself with the person interviewing you beforehand as this will demonstrate your genuine interest and will allow you to ask thoughtful and interesting questions during the interview. Ask for their opinions, stories and advice relating to their career journey and industry experiences and pay attention to what they are saying. Don’t hesitate to delve deeper into topics that have sparked your interest and thirst for knowledge.

After the interview, follow up with a brief email or note, expressing your gratitude and appreciation for their time, using this opportunity to emphasise key points discussed during the interview and stress your interest in staying connected with them on professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn. A good professional relationship takes time and effort so continue to invest in maintaining connections with professionals in your field, even if this time it has not led to employment.

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