Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Create a memorable first day in minutes

Job interviews can be intimidating and stressful. If you’d like to get to know a candidate in a more casual setting as well, consider a meet-and-greet. Read on to learn why and how.

What Is a Meet-and-Greet?

A meet-and-greet is a meeting during the interview and hiring process meant to be more informal than the actual interview. It’s a chance for an applicant to meet with a hiring manager or other key people this person would work within a casual setting where they can have an opportunity to get to know each other in a more conversational format than the typical question-and-answer format of a job interview.

Meet-and-greets can happen at different stages of the interview process. You may find value in doing a meet-and-greet after an offer has been extended and accepted, as part of the onboarding process. You may find it beneficial to do during the process, to help sell the candidate on your culture and people. Whenever you decide to place a meet-and-greet meeting in your interview process, it will add value by allowing your leaders and candidate the chance to get to know each other.

Why Are Meet-and-Greets Important?

The meet-and-greet allows a candidate to become more familiar with the role they would fill and allows your team to become more comfortable with a candidate than is easily accomplished in traditional interviews. Here are a few of its strengths.

  • Informal. While a formal job interview can be conversational and people can genuinely communicate during an interview, it is different from a meet-and-greet. In an interview, the interviewer asks questions and the candidate provides answers. Candidates may be trying to provide the answer they think the interviewer wants, and they may be trying to be on their best behavior. The informal atmosphere of a meet-and-greet allows you to potentially uncover something new about your candidate.
  • Meet key people. A panel interview of ten people asking one candidate questions can be very intimidating. Introducing a candidate to those same ten people with the intent of having a casual conversation is a lot less intimidating, but still accomplishes the goal of allowing your candidate to meet all of the people you would like them to meet.
  • Genuine. No matter how good your recruiters and hiring managers are at getting people to feel comfortable in an interview, there is still the shared understanding that it is an interview, and that predisposes people to act differently. When people are acting differently, you have a limited ability to get to know them at the level necessary to consistently make good hires. A meet-and-greet is not a job interview and increases your ability to see a more genuine version of the person.

How to Prepare for a Meet-and-Greet

Before conducting a meet-and-greet, make sure to prepare a few things.

Step 1: Align Schedules

To the best of your ability, align the schedules of the key people you want your candidate to meet.

Step 2: Set Expectations

The clearer you are in setting expectations, the more likely you will be to set this up in a way that allows the people in your organization and your candidate to get to know each other organically.

When setting expectations, you set the tone for the meeting. Define how formal or informal the meet-and-greet will be,  its length, and its location.  Will everyone meet in a conference room? Will the meet-and-greet be a tour of the facility or office, or occur over lunch? Will the meet-and-greet be onsite or will it be offsite at a restaurant or other social venue? The tone and structure you set will in part be determined by the role you are setting the meet-and-greet for.

Step 3: Roll Out the Red Carpet

A meet-and-greet does not have to be expensive, but you want to put the effort in to show that you are invested in this candidate and value their time. Even simple things can make a huge impact and make a candidate feel that you have rolled out the red carpet for them.

Here are a few ideas to make your candidates feel valued during your meet-and-greet:

  • Give them a handwritten thank-you note.
  • Make sure the people meeting with your candidate know their name and basic information ahead of time.
  • Give your candidate a gift card to get coffee or gas.
  • Offer them a water bottle.
  • Give the candidate a gift bag or company swag.
  • Make sure to provide the candidate with proper information on office directions and parking.

Tips for a Successful Meet-and-Greet

Your meet-and-greet can be a great success if you follow a few helpful tips.

Tip 1: Provide Information Ahead of Time

Provide your candidate with the information about the people they will be meeting with before the meet-and-greet. You might include the LinkedIn profiles of your team.

Provide the people on your team that will be meeting with your candidate their resume before the meet-and-greet so that the people on your team can come prepared with things they would like to get to know better about your candidate.

Tip 2: Prepare Introductions

Preparing ahead of time will help you provide relevant and meaningful information about the people you are introducing.

Tip 3: Tour

Onsite meet-and-greets are a great opportunity to not only introduce the candidate to the people they would be working with but the place and the environment in which they will be working. Your candidate will have a much stronger understanding of the role if they can physically see exactly where they will be working.

Tip 4: Be Present

If your schedule allows, be present during your candidate’s meet-and-greet to facilitate conversation and make sure things run smoothly.

If you are not available or have decided that you will not be present, let the candidate know where they can find you, where the exits are, where the restrooms are, and who will show them out at the end.

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Questions You’ve Asked Us About Meet-and-Greets

A meet-and-greet for an entry-level role may be shorter than one for an executive. Unless your meet-and-greet is taking place at a social event or over a meal, you should generally keep it to a similar time frame of an interview. Be cognizant of your candidate’s time, but still allow enough time for people to talk and get to know each other.

A strong followup after a meet-and-greet is to have the people in your organization who met with your candidate send a brief message to thank the candidate for their time. On the flip side, a strong followup from a candidate would be to send a brief message, typically an email, thanking the people in your organization for their time. Depending on your HR policies, you may provide the candidate with the email addresses of the people they met with.

Tyler empowers Talent Acquisition professionals, HR business leaders, and key stake holders to develop and execute talent management strategies. He is igniting the talent acquisition process through: team building, accurate time to fill forecasting, driving creative talent sourcing, and fine-tuning recruiting team effectiveness.

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