How To: Interview in a Coffee Shop
Every once in a while I get a surprise when a potential employer asks to meet at a coffee shop or for lunch rather than in their office for an interview. The coffee shop interview may be a progressive take on the in-office cousin interview but it should not be taken any less seriously. Here are some hints for the coffee shop interview!
DO offer to pay for your drink: it shows that you have manners and are not just expecting anything to be handed to you (whether it be a cup of coffee or an internship)!
DO dress professional: just because you are in more laid back environment does not give you the right to wear shorts, low cut tops or tennis shoes. You want to reflect yourself in a professional manner, even in a coffee shop.
DON’T sit lower than the person interviewing you: many times in coffee shops, there will be tall bar stools as well as large single chairs. If the chairs around a table are at different heights, sit in the one that will make you at eye level. You don’t want to have to look down or up to the person who is with you.
DON’T sit with your back to the door: if you get there early, sit near the entrance, facing the door. It will make it easier for the interviewer to spot you rather than if you are hiding out in a corner.