So, you’re meeting for ‘Coffee’ with a prospective employer or recruiter. You know it’s not JUST a coffee. It’s an opportunity for the recruiter to find out more about you. And for you to find out more about the role and the organisation.
Before you meet you will have:
- Done your homework
- Prepared some questions
- Practised some answers
Here are some final tips for getting the ‘Coffee Interview’ right.
Book the meeting in your diary and plan to arrive a little bit early. If traffic might be an issue, allow enough time to get to the meeting place.
Think about what you are going to wear. You probably don’t need to be in full formal dress or suit, but you do need to present well and appropriate to the type of café you are meeting in.
Take the job description along with you in case you need to refer to it, a list of your questions, and take a pen and paper so you can take notes if necessary.
Who Orders & Who Pays?
If you arrive early, you can either wait for the recruiter to arrive, or go ahead and order your drink. But the recruiter will most likely expect to be the one who pays.
It’s best not to order food (unless you are meeting over a meal) because it can be a real distraction. But take your cue from the recruiter.
Ending & Follow Up
At the end of the meeting, you are likely to have a better idea of whether you really want the job or not. If you are really keen, then go ahead and say so. However, don’t be too gushy. A simple “Thanks for the meetup today. This sounds like a great job. I’m looking forward to the next stage” is enough.
Immediately after the meeting, while things are still fresh in your mind, take a moment to write down any particular things you want to remember or follow up on. Examples might include:
- Any questions that were asked that you found hard to answer.
- Information about the organisation, the job, the team, the prospective manager etc.
- Any hints and guidance that was given about the upcoming interview.
- Any information that you want to follow up with or do some research about.
And finally, remember to send an email ‘Thank You’. This will continue to build a good impression of you, and keep you in front of the recruiter’s mind.
One last piece of advice. Connect with the recruiter or prospective employer via LinkedIn. Get in the habit of establishing networks of people who you meet. This can be really valuable later on.
Looking for more tips?
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
This is the final blog in my series “The Coffee Meeting”. Don’t get caught out by thinking “It’s JUST a coffee-not an actual interview”. You need to treat all meetings with recruiters as interviews and Prepare For Them.