Why an informal interview is never just a check-box exercise
It’s a common misconception that an ‘informal’ interview is just a check-box exercise and not to be taken seriously. And as a result, all too often we see excellent candidates fall at the last hurdle.
Whether it be an online or physical meeting, all contact between candidates and clients throughout the recruitment process are extremely vital for learning about the company, individual and for future relationships with the company.
Informal interviews, online video calls and ‘meet the team’ interviews are a common time for things to go wrong. We often see candidates become too confident, let their guard down, or misread the situation and become too casual, which usually leads to them saying something unforgiving simply because they’re not treating it like an interview.
Of course, there is the argument that these issues are identified and addressed early on rather than later down the line when the candidate is employed. However, it’s often the case that these casual conversations would be perceived completely differently outside of an interview format, or indeed it’s due to nerves.
We advice all candidates we work with to treat every client contact in a formal and professional manner. At each one of these meetings, the hiring manager is still building their impression and perception of the candidate and assessing how and where they’d fit into their existing team/company. The main points to remember are:
- Be punctual and prepare.
- Research the company and interview panel.
- Talk positively, particularly about previous employers
- Be honest and professional at all times
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