I am going to apply for a firm where a mutual friend is the CEO, it is a startup though. I once had an interview with a mutual friend and i behaved casually but not too much formally but i did not get the job there. Do you have to be professional around friends in an interview?

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    The question is a bit confusing. Are you applying to a job, and as part of that hiring processing are you going to be interviewed by a friend, or are you the interviewer, and a friend is applying for a job at your firm? Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 21:56
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    I feel this is the same to your last post you just posted a moment ago (workplace.stackexchange.com/q/167548/73791) please delete one or the other, double posting is not ok to do. Enhance and improve the one you decide to keep instead.
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 22:12
  • Did you already discuss with this friend the possibility of them not being present in the interview? What is usually the decision process on hires in this company? Does the team decide and the CEO can veto the decision, does the CEO always have the final word,...? For what it's worth I think that friend should probably be considering possible bias or further friendship damages on this. If I were them, I would just remove myself from the process in this specific case.
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 10:01

2 Answers 2


You should behave professionally during any interview, even if you know the person(s) interviewing you. Keep in mind that they are not interviewing you as friends, they are interviewing you as employees of their company and are trying to determine if you would be a good fit for their company.


Prepare for the interview as you would any other. Behave the same way you would as if your friend was not there, because he still may not be. You can discuss with him if you want, but ideally, leave it as is. You still want to wow the other members of the interview panel. You want to give them the feeling that they're hiring you because you're the best candidate, not because you're the bosses friend. The boss may even come away more impressed with you. If you're hired, you have to work with these people after the fact, and you need to come in with a good impression, not that you got a hookup.

I've had an interview where I knew every person interviewing me (previous job I had left 2 years prior), and one was a close friend. I treated it just like any interview, and while they already knew my work from previous experience, they still have a business to run. They appreciated that I took it seriously, and that gave me an edge. Are you the right fit for them at the right time? If you're not serious about their position, they may still like you, just not like you for their role.

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