Informal interviews often follow a conversational tone. Typically the interview starts with small talk before getting down to the core of the meeting, which you can expect to last for 45-60 minutes. The interviewer wants to understand your experience and how it fits with the role they are seeking to fill (can you do the job?), see how well you speak and interact with others (will you fit in?), and assess your interest in the position (do you want this job?). More often than not, the interviewer will do a lot of talking about the role and the organization before moving to their questions for you. The interview can take many turns, as a normal conversation would, and will often be guided by the experience outlined in your resume and how you answer the interviewer’s questions.
Below are some sample interview questions you can expect in an informal interview:
- Why are you interested in this role with our company?
- What do you think makes you a good fit for this role?
- What aspects of this role do you think will be the biggest challenge for you?
- What is your communication style?
- How would you rate your drafting skills?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your areas for improvement?
- What do you think your references will say about you?
- Do you have any questions?
The final question of “do you have any questions?” is not meant to trick you. If you have questions, ask one or two that seem appropriate. Do not ask any question that you should already know the answer to through your interview preparation and the information you have been provided throughout the interview. If you do not have questions, it is okay to say that all of your questions have been answered and reiterate your interest in the role.
A note on compensation: typically the topic of compensation is not raised in a first interview, however if the employer raises the topic you should address the question as honestly as possible.