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Informal Interviews: Dos and Don'ts


Harry Edelman Pittsburgh, PA

I have an informal interview scheduled with a company that uses drones and real time mapping techniques for first responders this week and I want to make sure that I am prepared adequately. Does anyone have any tips or tricks? Thanks for your help!

I have found some of the following tips online at the link below to be helpful and I plan to utilize them.

-...make sure that you do a little bit of research on the company that they work for. This will help you have a meaningful discussion about their career.
-Feel free to ask them if they know of any positions that would fit your needs, or if they know anyone else who would be willing to talk to you.
- Always thank the interviewee after the interview, and don’t forget to send them a letter or email too.

26 August 2018 5 replies Interviews



Keith Van Sickle Menlo Park, CA

Hi Harry,

You've got most of this covered so I won't repeat the good advice you've already received. I'll just note that two things that make you stand out in any interview situation are great questions and great stories.

You seem well-prepared on the questions side. On the stories side, I suggest you think through the things you'd like to communicate about yourself, in this or in future interviews. Turn them into a series of stories (brief but to the point) that help the listener understand what you can do. Having these in your hip pocket allows you to pull them out as the opportunity arises in the interview--"That reminds me of when I..." or "Yes I can do that, for example..." By thinking them through ahead of time and practicing them so they come out smoothly, you'll be prepared to put your best foot forward.

Good luck!


31 August 2018 Helpful answer


Deborah Carter Owens Cross Roads, AL

Hi Harry,

You have done your homework and you've received a lot of good advice from advisors on this site and so I think you're ready!

The only other thing that you may want to do is to spend some time thinking about things from the interviewers point of view. If you were him or her you're not just hiring someone to fulfill a narrow set of requirements, you're probably looking for a problem solver and a good addition to the team.

You can convey that you are that person that they're looking for by asking questions that show you're thinking broadly about the company and role. Some of my favorites are:
- What types of challenges exist in the environment / industry / team?
- What types of opportunities exist in the environment / industry / team?
- What would exceeding expectations look like?
- Am I lacking any education or experience that you feel is necessary and if so, what advice can you give me to close those gaps?

Good luck!!

30 August 2018 Helpful answer


Jerome Wong Scarsdale, NY

Hi Harry,

Thank you for your service. Think about the impression you want to leave with the interviewer and how to get that across:

1) You made an earnest effort to learn about the company and industry (fixed-wing vs quad-type drone, off-the shelf or custom software, what is their competitive advantage?); you did your homework and showed intellectual curiosity
2) You recounted an anecdote which demonstrates a positive personal trait - show, not tell with one or two specific examples
If you do this well, you do not have to ask about potential jobs because they will offer them up.


28 August 2018 Helpful answer


John Nordin Naperville, IL

Hi Harry-

The first thing that occurred to me is to not treat the interview "informally" in that you should
assume you are being considered a viable candidate and prepare/present yourself accordingly ie every interaction is an interview even if it is only a networking opportunity.

In terms of prep I think you are on the right track with what you noted above.

I would add trying to find out info on any competition they might have as well as any news items that may have hit the web and/or business publications.

If this is a technical position I would try to get a read on their technology stack and how well yours match up. If non-technical (operations/sales/finance) I would be prepared to talk to your skills/experience your areas of expertise.

Be careful not to use too much Military/DOD jargon or acronyms unless your talking to a veteran.

Good luck,

26 August 2018 Helpful answer


Paul Feuerstein Media, PA

I agree with all the comments above. The only thing I would add is not to be afraid to have a point of view on where you think the industry is going and why. I’m assuming that perhaps you have a personal interest (or strong curiosity) about the drone industry so let that shine through. People want to work with other people who are passionate about what they do, so ask lots of provocative questions that causes the interviewer to pause and think.

I strongly support what Keith says above about having good, crisp stories to tell that illustrate your skills and the impact you’ve made while leading others.

Go get ‘em!


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