What is a casual interview and how do you prepare for one?
A casual and informal interview can be a difficult one to judge. Do you arrive in jeans and a t-shirt, bearly having researched anything about the company? Or do you treat it like a regular interview and have pre-prepared answers to the typical interview questions you may get asked?
Don’t panic we have the answers…
What exactly is a casual interview?
Employers and recruiters often choose to favour an informal interview, when they are keen to meet candidates early on in the hiring process but aren’t prepared for the formalities of an interview.
This could be due to different reasons such as the specific job role you applied for will be centred around the successful candidate’s skills and experience. Or multiple candidates have applied for the role with very similar qualifications and experience and therefore the employer wants to get to know these applicants on a more personal level without the added pressures of an initial formal interview.
What should I expect?
The interview might not necessarily take place in the companies workplace. Often interviewers will arrange a mutual meeting place for both parties such as a coffee shop or restaurant. With the purpose being to help you relax and keep your nerves at bay. This style of interview encourages a more conversational style interview which can help you provide better answers.
Expect to listen. The interviewer will have a lot to tell you and will want to give you a general overview of the company and potential role. Really listen to what they say and make a note of it. This information could be useful if invited back for an additional interview and asked the question, “what do you know about this company?”
It’s likely the interviewer will also want a summary of your work experience and want to know why you’re right for the potential role. They might ask you, “why did you apply for this job?” So have a good idea of what you want to say and be able to summarise previous roles and responsibilities to really impress the interviewer.
What should I wear to a casual interview?
A dilemma many job seekers have before attending a job interview. Since its a ‘casual’ interview do you keep your outfit the same? A safe bet is to keep it smart-casual, a happy medium — think jeans (or trousers) and a smart top/shirt. Suits aren’t necessary, especially if you’re meeting in a mutual location.
If you’re still unsure, think about who you’re interviewing with and check out what their current employees wear to work. More corporate roles may expect you to arrive looking smart. Whereas a marketing agency might be completely fine with you turning up to a casual interview in jeans. It’s your call.
How do I prepare for it?
Research, research and more research! Prepare for an informal interview like you would a formal one. Learn everything there is to know about the company and job role because it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared.
You will also need to ensure your skills align with the job requirements. Take a look at the job description and make sure you have the experience and knowledge to discuss the role responsibilities in more detail.
Remember although this is an informal and casual style of interview, it doesn’t mean your preparation should be too.
Good luck to all those with an upcoming casual interview! Let us know your thoughts to these types of interviews in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs