Acing An Impromptu Interview
You never know who you’re going to run into. You may run into a potential employer at a job fair, a networking event or even while already working. I remember countless times where I was approached by prospective employers and essentially was interviewed on the spot, although in an informal way. I met an editor of a newspaper at an on-campus job fair and he gave me an impromptu interview right there, asking me about my experience in the journalism industry. This led to an interview at his office which turned into a job as a freelance writer. Another time I was working at a liquor store promoting some alcohol brands and giving out samples. One customer came by who I gave a sample to and he asked me a lot of questions about what I do. He was so impressed with my personality and the way that I presented myself that he invited me to an interview that same day at a bar that he owned. I ended up going and was offered a position as a bartender. As you can see, potential employers can be anywhere at any time so it’s important to be prepared for an impromptu interview. There’s no need to worry! Here are some tips to help you ace the impromptu interview:
Carry Your Resumes with You
You never know who you’re going to run into, so it’s best if you keep a few resumes on hand with you in your purse or backpack.
Have Business Cards
Don’t underestimate the power of the business card! If you do run into an employer and they show interest in potentially considering you for a position, they can take your business card and easily contact you for more of a formal interview at their office. This shows that you are professional. Do remember to take their business card as well so you can follow-up with them after your initial meeting. Many printing companies offer a small run of business cards for rather inexpensive fees.
Know how to sell yourself. Give a firm handshake, speak clearly, avoid stuttering and name the key points about your experience and skills that you feel are relevant to the position that you are being considered for. To prepare for an impromptu interview, practice at home by yourself covering what you would say to a potential employer in an informal situation. Think about some main points and maybe even practice with a friend.
Keep It Short
In many cases, it is likely that you will meet an employer at an event such as a job fair. In these situations, the employer probably doesn’t have all the time in the world for you at that moment so you’ll want to keep it brief. Talk about your main skills, experiences and accomplishments. Try to focus on key points that are relevant to the position. Most likely, if you are successful in the impromptu interview, the employer will invite you for a more formal interview where you will have the opportunity to talk in-depth about your experience and qualifications.
Preparation is key in acing the impromptu interview. Follow these simple tips and you can make a great impression on a potential employer and you may even land that dream job!