Three More Reasons to Stop Holding Job Interviews In Coffee Shops

Last week I posted Three Reasons to Stop Holding Job Interviews In Coffee Shops.  The reality is, there are more than three reasons! Here are three more …

1.  More Awkward

In the first post of this series, I mentioned how awkward this situation can be.  Let’s make it more awkward.  Let’s add into the mix a job candidate who uses a cane, crutches, or a wheelchair.  Now picture that coffee shop with its multitude of stairs, narrow hallways, and tightly packed seating area.  As promised…. the situation is even more awkward.  What’s more, you have now brought the coffee shop’s accommodation issues into your business in a very real way while also placing a barrier (literal and figurative) between you and prospective employee.  While we’re on this topic – take a look today at your office area – is it fully accessible?  

2.  Lack of Confidentiality - Candidate Perspective

Was that John from accounting who just walked in?  What if it gets back to my boss that I’m taking interviews?  How will I explain this meeting?  Will I get fired? 

It’s happened.  A job candidate is meeting with a prospective employer in a public setting when a member of their current team, their boss, or someone else affiliated with the company walks in and sees them.  The candidate is now in a wildly uncomfortable position and you may have just lost a top-tier candidate to a counter-offer by their employer.  Either way, it’s a lose-lose scenario.

Beyond the risk of being recognized and having their current company find out about the interview, an interview should include a candid conversation about experiences, successes, and failures. Getting a candidate to talk openly about past failures can be a challenge in the best of scenarios – having the conversation in public where it is easily overheard makes it less likely that a candidate will be open and transparent with these stories. 

3.  Lack of Confidentiality – Company Perspective

The confidentiality issues aren’t limited to the candidate side of the equation.  You don’t know who is sitting beside you at a coffee shop.  Not only could it be someone from the candidate’s company, it could also be a competitor – and you’ve not only given them a lead on a great candidate but have likely shared information that you wouldn’t provide to a competitor if they called up and asked.

Job interviews should be candid conversations – being concerned that a competitor may be sitting at the next table does not lend itself to having an open and thoughtful conversation with the candidate.

That brings us up to six reasons to stop holding job interviews in coffee shops.  Still not convinced?  Watch this space for more reasons! 


Three More Reasons To Stop Holding interviews in coffee shops - Nora A Burns - keynote Speaker

Three More Reasons To Stop Holding interviews in coffee shops - Nora A Burns - keynote Speaker