Interviews can either be formal or informal, depending on your objective. But regardless of your goal, its primary purpose is to obtain evidence, gather information, or learn more about an individual, job, or sector. Whether it’s a job opening, a product sale, a new assignment, or a promotion, careful planning and preparation must go into conducting an interview.
Unfortunately, a lack of effort is sometimes given to this age-old process. Since companies and organizations have been doing it for a long time, they often stick to their familiar routines and old habits, including where they conduct interviews. They choose the exact interview location instead of exploring other options available.
It’s essential to remember that an interview space can significantly affect the participant’s overall experience. Types of interviews also vary, so you need to be open about other locations outside an enclosed meeting room.
The Best Interview Venues
The setting where the interview takes place can directly influence how candidates will feel and behave during the meeting. It should also work for the overall investigative process. If you want to try a new venue, here are other options you can consider.
Not all interviews occur in the confines of conference rooms across a panel of interviewers. It’s now common for this type of meeting to take place in informal settings, like cafes or coffee shops. They have a very welcoming atmosphere, allowing participants to feel at ease and have more natural, spontaneous conversations.
If it’s an interview over dinner or lunch, restaurants are in-demand spaces to hire. They also provide a casual setting and comfortable seating, providing you an opportunity to see things you wouldn’t witness in a more uptight, traditional interview. But unless you rented the entire place, you’ll have to share the venue with other customers and have little control over the environment.
Sometimes, you don’t have to go too far to enjoy a new venue for the interview. If you have an office with a patio, bring all your interview materials out and take your event to the next level. If it’s an uncovered space, make sure it’s not too hot so everyone can appreciate the sunshine and cool breeze.
- Shopping Centers
As shopping centers shift their focus to customer experience, they’re now creating spaces for a range of activities and events, including interviews. Since they’re established in highly accessible locations, it will be easier for everyone to get to the interview site. They may also advertise it along with their roster of activities, so expect to receive more qualified participants.
What to Look for In interview Spaces
If the setting or environment for your interview is off, everyone’s experience will be less than you had hoped. To ensure a successful meeting, consider the elements that make an ideal interview space.
A well-thought-out interview room should be in a convenient location. It means it should be easy to find, close to public transportation, and easy to get to, especially for those with mobility restrictions. You’ll want a space in a central area, so the participants don’t have to travel far for a thirty-minute dialogue.
A suitable WiFi connection is a must at interviews. You’ll likely bring your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to the venue, so you should be able to use your electronic device online. Having quality heating/cooling systems is also essential, while well-maintained restrooms, audio-visual capabilities, and a waiting area are an added bonus.
Choosing a room that offers secure access is beneficial to avoid interruptions during an interview. It prevents unwanted visitors from barging in and allows you to have a smooth discussion. But then again, it still largely depends on the type of interview you’re conducting. Obviously, more informal meetings in public spaces typically don’t require additional security.
You want a large enough room for three people to sit comfortably but not too large that it looks almost empty. It should also fit a few pieces of furniture, including a writing surface and individual chairs. But if it’s a group interview, you’ll naturally need a bigger area that could fit more people and does not restrict movement.
Regardless of the nature of the interview, it’s necessary to fine-tune the room to establish an open and honest line of communication. Arrange the chairs properly and get rid of any possible distractions. Also, minimize the barriers in the room, such as conference tables, sofas, and desks.
The venue remains a critical aspect of your interviews’ overall success. Whether you’re conducting an interview for the first time or organizing a meeting away from your usual business premises, here are some ideas to spark your creativity.
- Task-Oriented Interviews in Museums
For a type of interview that requires candidates to show off their skills, you’ll need a unique space to demonstrate your organization’s creativity. There’s no better place to do that than in a museum. Museums provide a quiet environment, so candidates can pay attention to their tasks.
- Behavioral Interviews on Rooftops
An effective behavioral interview helps you know in-depth about the candidate. To delve deeper into their motivations, thinking styles, preferences, and tendencies, you’ll want to take them to an environment where they can relax and freely express themselves. That’s where rooftop interviews come in. Rooftops are versatile spaces you can dress up or down, depending on your goal.
- Lunch Interview in Hotel Restaurants
With a friendly, professional staff, accessible location, and delicious food options, you have plenty of reasons to conduct a lunch interview in a hotel restaurant. Since you’re already in a hotel, having convenient lodging is also a plus. This is especially beneficial if you’ve spent the entire day asking a bunch of questions and cross-examining tons of people. The last thing you’d probably want is to travel home, so you’d rather stay in the hotel to rest.
- Committee Interview at a Cultural Centers
Cultural centers, such as playhouses or theaters, provide an extraordinary twist to committee/panel interviews. You don’t need to rent any furniture because the rows of seats and entire space are sufficient for interactive sessions.