An informal visit is when you have a look around a potential place you’d like to work and speak to a member of staff. Here are some reasons why I think it’s a good idea to arrange an informal visit before that job interview.
1. It helps you to get a ‘feel’ for the place
By visiting the company’s location, you’ll be able to look around and form an opinion of the place. You may really like how clean the place is, or it can look like a chaotic mess that you wouldn’t fancy working in. Without having a look around the place you won’t be able to form this judgement. It is a good way to decide whether this work environment is the right one for you.
2. You can meet potential colleagues/bosses
You’ll most likely be shown around by a manager or a senior member of staff. You can judge how they treat you as this could be a reflection on how they treat their staff. If they aren’t very welcoming, then maybe this isn’t the place for you. I have been on one visit where everyone just seemed too busy to smile and acknowledge me. I have on the other hand been on visits where all members of staff were welcoming, which made me feel much more at ease.
3. You can ask questions
Before you visit the company, you should write a list of questions you have. This could include work hours, training and other opportunities within the job. This means that you can be fully prepared before applying for the job.
4. You can ask for advice, in particular for the application process
Whilst they can’t tell exactly what you’ll be asked, you’ll be able to ask whether there are any numerical tests, any skill-based scenarios and in general how their application process works. This again will help you to feel prepared when you come to apply for the job.
5. It will help them remember you
You may end up being interviewed by the person who showed you around, which will help you feel at ease. They will also be able to remember that you took the time to visit them before applying, which will help you stand out from others.
I would 100% organising an informal visit as it will help you when you apply for the job If you want to arrange a visit, I would contact the place either through e-mail or by phone. Also, after you have visited them I would contact them again just to thank them for their time. This again will help you score some brownie-points. Good luck 🙂