An impromptu interview is informal and unstructured, and tends to be more of a "spur of the moment" meeting. It often occurs when employers are approached without prior planning. Applicants should be prepared at all times for this type of interview, especially in situations such as networking meetings, job fairs, or cold-calling. This is a perfect opportunity for employers to ask the candidate some simple questions to decide whether or not to offer a formal interview.
As with all other interviews, remain professional! Even though you may be in a more casual setting, the employer that you are talking to will still be evaluating your ability to remain professional, speak eloquently, and other characteristics that they so desire. This is also a great chance to briefly introduce the employer to some of your most relevant skills and credentials. However, it is critical that you do not monopolize his or her time. If you are cold-calling, then they have other things in the office to attend to; if you are at a job fair, there are other individuals who are interested in meeting the employer as well.
Since you will more than likely not be able to converse for any great length of time, ask if it is okay to schedule another meeting or interview. Offer to contact that person (get his or her number or email); employers at job fairs for instance will see numerous individuals throughout the day, and may not remember to call you. By offering to contact them, you are lifting that burden. If the person in question says that he or she does not handle interviews, ask for the name and contact information of someone in that company who does.
Always remain polite, and thank the person for his or her time and information. Maintain enthusiasm, passion, and motivation. This may be the first step to acquiring your life-long career!
We look forward to partnering with you in the future,
Candace Davies ACCC, CRW, CIC, CPRW, CEIP, CECC
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