Nailing the not-so-casual coffee interview

With companies shifting away from the traditional corporate style, gone are the days that all interviews are sit down interrogations. Nowadays, it’s not unusual to hear “Let’s grab coffee”. But with that setting comes a different preparation strategy, as the questions will be more than “If you were an animal, what would you be and why?”

Bring a copy of your resume

You don’t necessarily need to whip it out right away, but your interviewer will most likely ask for it. And if they never do, you might want to offer it up for the chance that they’ll think of you later on. Make sure you glance over it before sitting down so everything is fresh in your head. Even before you print it out, make sure you follow the basic do’s and don’ts of resume writing.

Consider ordering decaf

Being nervous is totally normal, but usually, caffeine just builds those nerves. Instead, opt for tea, a smaller size or decaf to keep jitters at bay. If you still want a caffeinated beverage, go for a latte or something with a lot of milk. And avoid cold brew at all costs.

Think of two or three stories

Just like any interview, you want it to feel more like a conversation than a Q&A, but you need to make sure you’re talking about things in relation to the job, not your favorite football team. That may land you a great hour-long convo, but not a job.

Try to think of how you overcame a hurdle, like when all your teammates ditched you and you pick up the slack or how you learned from failure during your first day at your previous job.

Dress nicely

A great advantage of coffee interviews is that you get to showcase your personality a little more. Yes, you’re going to be at a coffee shop, not an office, but that doesn’t mean you can show up in shorts. Business casual is generally okay, but try to be more business with personality than casual.

Featured image by Riley Morgan