How to smash your way through a coffee meeting, and why it's never ~just~ grabbing coffee.

Coffee meetings. They seem harmless enough, right? In the adult world of work and networking, there's no such thing as a 'casual coffee meeting'. If your boss, a potential employer or client invites you for coffee, don't be fooled into thinking that it's not important, because it is. It could be just as important as those meetings that take place in your office boardroom - and the person who's invited you, will have invited you for a reason and probably has an agenda as to what they want to get out of it.

Coffee meetings are such a great way of networking, creating & building business relationships and getting ahead in your career. They're a chance for you to spend some quality time with someone, where the focus is purely on you and they're beneficial for everyone, whether you're a corporate or a creative, a great coffee meeting could be really rewarding.

I've had friends tell me stories of how they were invited for an 'informal chat' over coffee with a potential employer after they'd had a first interview. Turns out, it was full blown second interview. Or how a lunchtime outing with their boss had turned into a performance review and goal setting session. Or how a last minute coffee with a potential client had ended with them signing a contract. 

So, whether you're the one that's asked for the meeting or you've been invited by someone else, what are the do's and don't for these informal-yet-super-important meetings?

D O  Y O U R  R E S E A R C H

Do you know this person well? If not, try and look into them a little (I mean, not in a creepy way, obvs), but see if you can find out about their career and a little about them. How did they get where they are? Are there any causes that they're passionate about? Is there something that you'd like to know more about?

Most people these days have an online presence, whether it be a LinkedIn page, an Instagram account, a blog or an online portfolio. A little digital detective work could go a long way! I mean, you'd never turn up to a job interview without knowing anything about the company and the business, right?

If you do know them, maybe try and get them to tell you what the agenda is for the meeting. What is it that they want to talk to you about? Being prepared will be a huge advantage.

K N O W  W H A T  Y O U  W A N T

This applies whether you're the one who's been invited, or the one who's invited someone else. How will this meeting benefit you? The last thing you want to do is waste an opportunity, and walk out kicking yourself because you didn't ask the right questions and you didn't make the most of it. So plan ahead and constantly remind yourself to ask some questions, too!

S T A Y  P R O F E S S I O N A L

This isn't a coffee date with your best girlfriend talking about the latest goss from the group WhatsApp chat. It's a networking opportunity, so be chatty, friendly and warm, but remember to stay focused, on topic and appropriate for whoever's sat across the table with you.

T A K E  N O T E S

Don't be afraid to grab a pen and paper and take some notes as you're chatting - this is particularly useful if you, or they, offer to send something across after the meeting, as you'll have more chance of remembering to do it or follow it up if they forget! But it also helps to note down things as they are mentioned, as sometimes meetings can be very content heavy, and you may forget some of the smaller details.

Although, don't write down everything, as you'll be too distracted writing to really listen to what they are saying.

F O L L O W  U P

Just like you would with any meeting or interview, it's always a good idea to send a follow up email afterwards. Whether it's simply thanking the other person for their time, arranging another meeting, or like I mentioned above, sending something across that was promised during your time with them. Let them know that you enjoyed the meeting... and the coffee!

Have you had many coffee meetings? What would your tips be?



  1. Ooh Good tip! I've never had a professional coffee meeting yet and had no idea it is actually so important and informative! These are really good tips, thanks Sophie!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

  2. This has to be one of my fave posts until now!

    xx Lisa |