CAREER EXPERT feat Chris Mead | Issue 78 of HEADHUNT


Dear Chris,

As part of the interview process for a business development role, I’ve been asked to join the team for after-work drinks. Why would the hiring manager ask me to attend and how should I prepare and present myself?



Dear Tomany,

A social interview is usually added to the recruitment process for different positions such as IT and banking jobs when an employer wants to assess your soft skills or ensure you are a good fit with the existing team and the company’s culture. For a BD role, networking or client-contact is an important element, so you’re also likely to be assessed on your interactions with those present and your presentation throughout the evening.

We advise candidates to approach a social interview in the same way they would any other job interview. Whether it’s out to lunch or for a drink after work with potential colleagues, you should still dress and act professionally.

Don’t let your guard down – you may be drinking a glass of wine or beer, but you are still being assessed. By all means, have a glass of alcohol if everyone else is drinking, but remember you are not there for the drinks or the food – you’re there to impress, which you won’t do if you drink
too much, spill messy food down your suit or light a cigarette.

In fact, and this applies to positions ranging from finance jobs to advertising posts, in a social interview you are often assessed by more people than would otherwise be present in a traditional interview. Your potential colleagues will all want to ask you questions, such as about your general background, qualifications, experience, reasons for applying and career objectives. They’ll likely ask a huge range of questions, not all of them entirely relevant or predictable.

Everyone present will be focusing their attention on you. And they’ll all want to give their opinion about how suitable they think you are to the hiring manager on Monday morning. So remain on your best behaviour and answer questions honestly, directly and keep to the point.

Your research will really pay off in a social interview. Researching the organisation by looking at their website and annual report, and talking to your networks and your recruitment expert, will help you understand the business and give you plenty of discussion points. Keep your conversation points professional and business-related. Just as you would in a traditional interview, use every question as an opportunity to show how your experience and skills match the role and company. 
Good luck.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


Chris Mead
General Manager
HAYS Singapore

Connect To Us