Did you follow all our LinkedIn guidelines for a productive job hunt?
Did you make a lot of exciting connections during the last networking event?
You sent the best follow-ups possible and got a positive answer from one of your targets?
Awesome! All you have to do now is to schedule a coffee interview and find relevant questions to ask!
You’ll hear it from a lot of people (and probably on every Canada Talents blog posts), but doing your homework before an interview, even informal, is the most important. Go through your interlocutor’s LinkedIn profile, website and even Facebook public profile, you have to find THE connection.
And as we, at Canada Talents, know that it might be a stressful moment, here are our five big questions to ask during a coffee interview. Ready?
Tell me a bit about you
If you’re actively looking for a job, you may hear this question quite often. The good point is that you can also ask it during an informal interview.
It will help you in many ways, mostly to:
- Show that you understand how things work here,
- Get more background info about the person in front of you, especially if you didn’t find everything you need,
- Precise your upcoming questions or even make you think of more,
Canadians love to hear and tell good stories any good “networker” has to work on an elevator pitch. Check out this article to build your own.
What do you like the most about your company or job?
There are mostly two options why you would meet someone for an informal interview.
You’re either interested in a position, or in the company.
Beyond gathering some precious intel for a hypothetical formal interview, this is the perfect moment to find out if the company or the job would be the right fit for you! Show that you care, ask anything related to the job’s tasks, the company’s work environment. Proving your interest might make your coffee’s guest remember you.
What is your most exciting challenge?
It is not a secret, we all love to talk about ourselves and even more about a significant challenge or achievement.
It will reveal to you what skills, traits or values are required for the position you’re looking for or to work in the company you’re interested.
Putting your interlocutor in an expert position will allow you to get more information and help you think of new relevant questions. Don’t forget this is a conversation: get ready for it, but let it be as natural as possible. It has to flow without unveiling your agenda.
What can I do for you?
It is THE most important question, far beyond every other. Asking in which way you can help the person in front of you will show your motivation.
If you want to get something from your guest, you need to show that you’re ready to give before asking. It will be highly appreciated and noticed.
Being unemployed doesn’t mean that you don't have anything to bring to the table!
What if your interviewer is a member of an association looking for volunteers (such as Canada Talents)? What is the better way there to start making new connections and show your skills?
What if you have the perfect fit for an open position someone in your network has or knows about it? You never know where; when and how an opportunity may come up.
Can you connect with... / Have you heard about an open position?
Here’s the question that you have waited for it. This is the big moment.
Keep in mind that the answer you’ll get is highly related to the questions you previously asked.
In Europe, this question may be underlying during your talk, and at some point, your interlocutor would take the lead and answer to it even if you hadn’t asked. But in Canada, you have to ask it out loud, or the person in front of you may go away without helping you. If you don’t ask, you don’t get so don’t be afraid and go for it.
Voilà! Here are five simple questions to ask during a coffee interview with one of your connections.
There’s no specific order to these questions; it’s up to you. Having more specific questions about the person, you’ll meet, and the company will be a great asset too.
Want to go deeper? Check our Career Clinic to get more support and get our best tips for a successful job hunt.