Don’t be Deceived – It’s Never JUST a Coffee!

Conversation over a coffeeClients often tell me that they are meeting for coffee with a prospective employer or recruiter, and they stress “It’s JUST a coffee-not an actual interview.” At this point, I have to look them in the eye and tell them some hard truths. Usually along the line of “Don’t be deceived-It’s NEVER just a coffee”.

Recruiters and employers are increasingly resorting to more covert ways of assessing candidates and finding out about them. If you are a prospective candidate, you can be certain that your social media presence will be checked out, and that means both your LinkedIn profile and your personal Facebook page. It is not unusual for candidates to be rejected based on what is seen on either of these.

The second way that candidates are often being vetted is via the supposed ‘Coffee’ meet up. The line goes something like this:

“Let’s meet up for a coffee before you actually interview for this job. I can answer any questions you might have and fill you in a bit more about the role”.

It all sounds innocent enough, but you need to understand what is really happening in a ‘coffee’ meeting, and why you shouldn’t be fooled by the line “It’s JUST a coffee-not a real interview”.

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Recruitment is complicated and recruiters are clever. They want to find out as much about you as they can, so they can make good decisions. And what better way than in a seemingly informal setting.
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It’s hard in a formal interview situation to get an idea of who you are – the ‘real’ you. But understanding the ‘real’ person is critical. The best person for any job is not only the one who has the necessary skills. It’s also the one who will fit into the organisation culture and team. Which is why a ‘coffee’ meeting is one way to see candidates in less formal settings. It gives the recruiter the opportunity to see the real you.
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It’s easy to pop in some personal questions into informal conversations. Candidates are more likely to let their guards down and chat about themselves if they feel relaxed. And they are more likely to divulge information about their personal lives.
All of the above provide recruiters with a more comprehensive picture of who you are and how you might fit or not fit a particular job. So, don’t be fooled by the line “It’s just a coffee”.
Janet Tuck

Janet Tuck

Career Specialist, Director

M: +64 21 526 387
E: janet@careerclinic.co.nz

It’s never JUST a coffee

If you want to prepare well for interviews or coffee meet-ups, my comprehensive 2-hour coaching session covers everything you need to know, including how to answer all the types of questions you might be asked.  It’s a great session and you get a free workbook included in the price.

Phone or email Janet Tuck at Career Clinic and book your session now

Watch out for my next blog where I will give you some hints about how you can prepare for the chat over ‘coffee’.

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