What's Your Coffee Chat Conversion Rate?

Fellow student monkeys,

For those of you who have gone through the recruiting process or are currently going through it - what is your coffee chat conversion rate? How many people that you meet end up pushing your resume or being a referral for you?

I've seen numbers for cold emails vary from 1/10 to 1/5 as far as getting an initial response; sometimes even 1/50 or so, pretty crazy. Do you find most coffee chats to end up successful? My assumption is that once you've finally got them in front of you, it should be relatively "easy" to get to know someone and see if you could get some help or reference about recruiting with their firm.

Maybe your experiences can help others, comment below!

Comments (26)

Apr 2, 2018

I don't send these out but I sure do get a lot of them :-) So far everyone is batting .000 with me on those - I have yet to see someone write me a compelling invite. Given the right invite, I would meet.

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Apr 4, 2018

Look asshole, I'll make it worth your while, cut the tough guy talk. Let's do coffee

Best Response
Apr 2, 2018

Bonasera... Bonasera... What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? Had you come to me in friendship, then this scum in HR would be reading your resume this very day. This is the first time you came to me for counsel, for help. But let's be frank here: you never wanted my friendship. And uh, you were afraid to be in my debt.

But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me Godfather . . .

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Apr 4, 2018

can you show us an example of an uncompelling invite, so we know what to avoid doing?

Apr 2, 2018
    • 1
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Apr 2, 2018

Conversion rate for coffee chats by the most superficial definition is 100%. Everyone that agrees to have coffee with you would help in one way or another ranging from pushing a CV to allowing you to mention then in your cover letter.

Conversion from recommendation to internship or interview is harder. Even if you wow the fuck out of someone, if the firm has strict and rigid hiring procedures then its very hard. This works better at smaller firms

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Apr 3, 2018

True.

Does a VP have any decision making power in this process? Let's say I meet with a VP and he really likes me and wants to see me interview.

"It is not our circumstance that controls us, but our thoughts that control our circumstance." -James Allen

Apr 2, 2018

Too many variables to give you an answer. Depends on the firm, the VP, the position, you & your resume, etc etc.

But the fact that you're asking that is a mistake in itself. Do you remember the opening scene of the first Godfather movie? Approaching the coffee chat with a job recco in mind is a mistake. If someone approaches me in friendship and truly seeking mentoring and overall career guidance, then I'm interested and likely to meet with you. But if your goal is just "can you get me a job?" then it's just setting me up for something less-than-satisfying, ". . . you don't even think to call me Godfather . . ."

Your goal should be to seek friendship and life advice. If you approach people in that way, then I guarantee that your conversion rate will rise.

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Apr 2, 2018

VPs yes but from my personal experience at EBs (perhaps because they're smaller and the process isn't as formal). This worked for me with two EBs who put forward my CV to HR and the guys doing so were VPs. I tried the same with MDs from BBs and they could only 'flag' my CV to HR but then the decision was made by HR.

    • 1
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Apr 4, 2018

In my opinion it's not about conversion rates after one conversation, but how the conversations I have lead to new connections that I may not have had access to before. As well, it's about reaching back out to the connections you made during recruiting season and updating them on where you are at.

At the end of every coffee chat, I always say "Thanks for your time, do you think there is anyone else I should reach out to that would be able to share their experiences with me as well?". This is a great way to expand your network without even really trying at all.

My conversion rate of people that I have chatted to just once and ended the connection? Very low. The conversion rate of people who have connected me with their colleagues? Significantly higher. The conversion rate of people who I have remained in touch with over the last ~8 months? TBD, but I'm certain that they would vouch for me if I ever found myself looking for a job at their firm in the future.

Apr 2, 2018

I disagree with this. Seek my help and friendship, don't use me as a gateway.

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Apr 4, 2018

Hmm... I have a feeling you'd have a different attitude about this if you weren't in Consumer Banking. IB is a different world, and people are willing to help out and push resumes because they remember how hard it was as a prospective intern or analyst. Drop the pride pls, thx.

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Apr 4, 2018

I was never meaning to suggest using somebody as a gateway, I thought I made that clear when I mentioned staying in touch with connections over many months. I was just suggesting that there is no harm in expanding your network further at the end of a call.