What does a successful ‘informal final interview’ look like?

You’ve completed one, maybe two, formal structured interviews successfully. You were well prepared, gave solid answers on all the competency-based questions and absolutely blew away the interviewers with your prepared task or presentation. Now, you’re being invited to a final stage which will be an informal conversation with perhaps the line manager, or a peer. Where’s the rule book on that?

In this blog, we are hoping to offer some insight on what to expect and what a successful informal interview would look like…

  1. Timings

Don’t be alarmed if this is quite short. It’s quite normal for informal interviews to be anything from 15-30 mins. This is simply a sign that they have most of what they need from you already.

  1. Format

It may well be online but otherwise, may take place in a coffee shop or similar. The setting is designed to put you at ease and so if it’s online, it’s absolutely fine for you to bring along a cup of tea to help you feel relaxed and mirror the sentiment of the meeting.

  1. Show the real you

This is what can feel confusing… you want to show the real you but also keep it professional. To help unpick this, think about how you are at work vs an interview. There is probably a bit of a difference; while ‘work-you’ remains professional, it’s probably not as formal as ‘interview-you’. Perhaps have some anecdotes to hand which show off who you really are, be prepared to talk about hobbies, volunteering, how your colleagues would describe you, how your customers warmed to you etc. Take this opportunity to show what you’re like to work with and to put that spotlight on you.

  1. See the real them

All interviews are two-way processes and this is a fantastic opportunity to build a natural rapport with the interviewer on a professional level. You can ask questions about working culture and what they enjoy about working there.

  1. The long term

The good news is that these interviews are nearly always designed to give both sides an opportunity to consider working together long-term. Take the time to think about what you are motivated by and how this role answers that. Consider what you want to achieve whilst you’re at the business and where would you like to see the role develop, for you and for them. All this will show them your commitment to staying long term and give you a sense of the longevity of the role.

  1. The Close

Formal interviews are almost easier to close – there’s an expectation of how they finish. You shake hands and look forward to hearing from them. Again, relate this back to how you would leave after a great day in the office. Friendly and professional, let the interview know you’ve warmed to the business and would love to make this a reality. Follow up afterwards and thank them for their time, or pass the thanks via your recruiter if you’re using one.


Enjoy it! There is no reason this can’t be a really successful event for you and we wish you all the luck for your new role!

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