A candidate “meet and greet” provides a means to break away from the traditional interview format, get to know the candidates better, discover their whole personality, and assess their true potential. Meet and greets are, therefore, usually conducted outside the formal office setting.
The meet and greet interview is an opportunity for the firm to convey to the candidates the company’s vision in an informal setting that does not feel contrived, enabling them to express themselves freely.
Looking for meet and greet ideas? Following are some valuable yet straightforward meet and greet interview tips that will help get the most out of such interviews that you may be planning to organize.
When should I opt for the meet and greet format?
Meet and greet works effectively when a potential employee is likely to work with several key personnel in doing their job. In such a scenario, the meet and greet style interview becomes an effective means of getting the candidate acquainted with the position.
The process of organizing and conducting an effective meet and greet interview requires a considerable amount of thought and preparation. Therefore, you may reserve the meet and greet idea—as a later or even a final step—for a candidate who seems most likely to meet the requirements to be hired for the position after the preliminary selection steps.
In other meet and greet formats, some firms prefer the informal “atmosphere” of candidate meet and greet interviews, even for the initial stages of the candidate evaluation process. An informal meet and greet can be organized collectively for all the candidates.
They are encouraged to discuss both professional and general subjects while mingling and interacting with key team members. The informal setting allows the candidates to be relaxed.
As a result, the hiring team can evaluate the candidate better to judge the candidate’s professional competence and attitudinal suitability for the position.
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
After a meet and greet interview, a candidate’s suitability for the position depends a lot on the preparation you put in to pose smart meet and greet interview questions.
For example, a candidate’s answer to the question “What would you have done differently in your current company to increase revenue or profit?” will give you a sense of whether the interviewee can comprehend the big picture.
Or an answer to the question “Describe an instance when your reportee disagreed with your instructions, and how did you handle the situation?” will help you assess the candidate’s conflict resolution skills. After all, in addition to professional ability, in any job, emotional intelligence is also essential.
Keep some additional professional meet and greet questions handy to assess the candidate’s ability to work in and with a team, handle deadlines and stress at work, leadership skills, motivations, and ambitions.
Recommended Read: 20 Problem Solving Interview Questions to Find Your Next Rockstar
How long should a meet and greet last?
There are no formally or informally agreed meet and greet rules regarding its duration, but spending too little time means you do not pick up on candidate skills. On the other hand, if you spend too long, you will experience a diminishing return on your time.
The duration of the meet and greet will depend on:
- The seniority of the position.
- The industry that your firm is in (some industries require an actual demonstration of skills by the candidate).
- The effort you put in structuring the process and preparing a framework of relevant questions.
- The time that the interview team has allotted.
As opposed to a formal one-on-one interview that typically lasts 45 minutes to an hour, considering the intrinsically relaxed setting of a meet and greet interview, it would make sense to dedicate some additional time to allow the conversation to develop.
Should the meet and greet be formal or informal?
“What are meet and greets like?”, “How do meet and greets work?” – are questions that HR professionals often grapple with. Having called for a meet and greet, it is your responsibility to define the tone for what the meet and greet turns out to be like.
If you have chosen to go with an informal format, it would only be appropriate to keep it that way right from the ambiance at the venue, the dress to be worn by the interviewers and candidates (business casual would be a good choice), how you greet the interviewee, etc.
Kick off the proceedings as you would during a conversation, keeping it relaxed yet professional and not too personal. Keep an open body language. Smiling faces will undoubtedly help!
Engaging with the candidates and presenting your firm as the employer of choice is a real art and entirely your responsibility. You should remember that you (and the firm) are being judged as much as the interviewees.
What after the meet and greet?
After the meet and greets, it is always good to follow up with every candidate, whether offering them the job or rejecting them.
For the unsuccessful candidates—thank them, ask if they want feedback, be honest and constructive, and, most importantly, be respectful. With the successful candidate(s), follow up and close the loop with the required paperwork.
Meet and greet for onboarding?
An alternative meet and greet idea is to use it as a component of the candidate onboarding process. It can be designed to be a value-rich addition to the new employee’s joining experience.
The effectiveness of a meet and greet as a part of the onboarding process can be enhanced by:
- identifying individuals who can bring value to the person’s initial days at the office
- talking to and preparing the key individuals for meeting the new employee
- communicating the agenda and the rationale for the various scheduled meetings to the new employee
As a final step, you should hold a debrief and summarising session to answer the candidate’s questions.
The meet and greet is an immersive experience for both candidates and the interviewers. When conducted with the requisite thought and preparation, it ensures a thorough evaluation of the candidate and allows the interviewer to choose the right candidate.