Conversational Interview

A conversational interview flows from one topic to the next naturally without a traditional question / answer format.  This style of conversation resembles a discussion among friends, not a formal session with a perspective employer.  The manager may discuss the position / company in detail.  Current issues within the industry or trends may be shared. The small-talk seems to move with no specific direction.  An experienced interviewer may wish to gather information and prospect for unrevealed facts.  It is amazing to watch this session evolve.  Other interviews of this nature are implemented by unskilled or disorganized managers.  This type of manager may not understand how to stream-line the question / answer session.   These managers just seem to ramble.

In this setting, interviewer is more likely to ask open-ended questions - rather than questions with specific answers.  For example, you may be asked the statement, "Tell me about yourself." - not "What word best describes your personality?"  You may also be ask, "Describe your previous work position." - not "What did you like most about your previous job?"

Regarding a Conversational Interview -

Playing to your Strength - This style of interview is relaxed in nature and provides a comfortable environment for the perspective employee.  Your interviewer will often receive an honest interpretation of the candidate.  The questions simply do not impose a sense of stress.  The employer will start the conversation and wait to see where the applicant takes the discussion.

Watch Out - Candidates can be lulled into a false feeling of accomplishment during the interview.  The endless Chit-Chat can cause individuals to loose track of time.  Soon, the visit has ended without understanding if the purpose of the interview was accomplished.

Suggestion - Make an effort to monitor the time and ensure that all parts of your agenda have been covered.  Be sure to reveal all of your important qualifications. During breaks of wording, mention your experiences and abilities.  On the other hand, guard against sharing too much with endless chatter.  Applicants may simply reveal too much unnecessary information.