Better Meetings

Mastering the Informal Interview

You've nailed the formal interview process, but what about those casual coffee chats or impromptu conversations? Informal interviews can be a game-changer, and mastering them is key to landing your dream job or finding that perfect hire. Buckle up, because we're about to dive into the world of informal interviews, where first impressions count, and spontaneity reigns supreme.

What is an Informal Interview?

Let's start with the basics. An informal interview is like a casual date with a potential employer or candidate – minus the awkward small talk and sweaty palms (hopefully). It's a low-pressure, informal setting where both parties can get to know each other better without the rigidity of a traditional interview.

These informal chats can happen anywhere: over coffee, during a company tour, or even at an industry event. The beauty of informal interviews is that they allow you to let your guard down and showcase your personality, cultural fit, and genuine interest in the role or company.

Nailing it as a Candidate

As a candidate, informal interviews can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you get to show off your authentic self, but on the other, you need to strike the perfect balance between professionalism and approachability. Here are some tips to help you ace those casual conversations:

1. Do Your Homework

Just because it's an informal chat doesn't mean you can wing it. Research the company, the role, and the person you're meeting with. Familiarize yourself with their culture, values, and recent achievements. This will not only help you ask insightful questions but also demonstrate your genuine interest in the opportunity.

2. Dress to Impress (But Keep it Casual)

You don't need to break out the full suit and tie, but you should still look put-together. Opt for a smart-casual outfit that reflects your personal style while still being appropriate for a professional setting. Remember, first impressions matter – even in informal situations.

3. Be Prepared to Talk About Yourself

Informal interviews are all about getting to know the real you. Be ready to discuss your background, interests, and career goals in a natural, conversational way. Share stories that highlight your strengths, experiences, and potential fit for the role without sounding rehearsed.

4. Ask Thoughtful Questions

This is your chance to gain valuable insights into the company culture, the team dynamics, and the day-to-day responsibilities of the role. Prepare a few thoughtful questions that demonstrate your curiosity and enthusiasm for the opportunity.

5. Stay Present and Engaged

It's easy to get distracted in a casual setting, but staying present and engaged is crucial. Make eye contact, listen actively, and respond thoughtfully. This will not only show your interest but also help you build a genuine connection with your potential employer.

Mastering the Art as a Hiring Manager

As a hiring manager, informal interviews are a valuable tool for assessing cultural fit, communication skills, and overall potential. But, like any other interview process, there's an art to conducting them effectively. Here are some tips to help you make the most of these casual conversations:

1. Set the Tone

The beauty of informal interviews is their relaxed nature, but that doesn't mean you can be unprofessional. Set the right tone by creating a comfortable environment where both parties can engage in open and honest dialogue.

2. Ask Insightful Questions

While informal interviews are meant to be casual, you still need to gather valuable information about the candidate. Prepare a set of insightful questions that will help you assess their skills, experiences, and fit for the role and company culture.

3. Observe Body Language and Communication Style

Informal interviews provide a unique opportunity to observe a candidate's body language, communication style, and ability to engage in a natural conversation. Pay attention to how they present themselves, their level of confidence, and their ability to actively listen and respond.

4. Showcase Your Company Culture

Use the informal setting to give the candidate a glimpse into your company's culture and values. Share stories, highlight team dynamics, and discuss the organization's mission and goals. This will not only help the candidate better understand the role but also gauge their potential fit within the company.

5. Follow Up and Provide Feedback

Don't let the informal nature of the conversation fool you – follow-up and feedback are still crucial. Make sure to thank the candidate for their time and provide them with an overview of the next steps in the process. If they're not a fit, offer constructive feedback to help them improve for future opportunities.

The Supernormal Advantage: Q&A Note-Taking for Interviews

Speaking of feedback and follow-up, have you ever found yourself scrolling endlessly through interview notes, trying to piece together that one insightful comment or memorable anecdote? Well, fear not, because Supernormal has got your back with its game-changing Q&A note-taking feature.

Supernormal is a revolutionary note-taking app that organizes your interview notes in a convenient question-and-answer format. No more endless scrolling or sifting through walls of text – with Supernormal, you can easily find the information you need, when you need it.

Here's how it works:

  1. Before the Interview: If you’re the interviewer, prepare your questions so you have a structured template for note-taking.
  2. During the Interview: As the conversation flows, Supernormal will transcribe your questions and the candidates answers in the notes.
  3. After the Interview: With all the information neatly organized, you can quickly review the candidate's responses, share feedback with your team, and make informed hiring decisions.

Supernormal's Q&A note-taking feature is a game-changer for informal interviews, where the conversation can take unexpected turns and valuable insights can be easily missed. With Supernormal, you can focus on building genuine connections while knowing that every detail is captured and easily accessible.


Informal interviews may seem casual, but they're a crucial part of the hiring process. By mastering the art of these casual conversations, you'll not only make better hiring decisions but also create a positive experience for both candidates and employers.

Remember, whether you're the one being interviewed or the one doing the interviewing, the key is to stay authentic, engaged, and open-minded. With the right mindset and a few tips up your sleeve, you'll be well on your way to acing those informal interviews and finding the perfect fit for your team or your dream job.

So, grab your coffee, put on your best casual-yet-professional outfit, and get ready to impress – because the world of informal interviews awaits, and you're about to conquer it like a pro.

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