Job Interviews During A Meal
It is rare that a first interview will take place during a meal; more
commonly second interviews could involve lunch or dinner (but not
always). In any case, if you are having a discussion in an office which
then continues over a meal, remember that you are being "interviewed" in
both settings. What you say and do will be under review until you say
A few guidelines will help to make the meal less stressful. If you
have questions about table manners, brush up with an etiquette book.
Order something that is easy to eat-stay away from items such as
shish-kebab, french onion soup, and spaghetti or linguine. Beware of
finger food. You will want to be able to eat small bites of your food
without dropping or spilling anything.
Follow the lead of your host(s) regarding which courses and generally
which items to order. You may want to ask, "What do you recommend here?
" so that you will have an idea of what they are likely to order. Order
items within the same price range or lower, and never order the most
expensive item on the menu. If others are ordering an appetizer and an
entr�e, you should do the same. If no one orders dessert, you should
Ninety-nine percent of the time it is unwise to drink alcohol in an
interview setting. If you are at a group dinner or a cocktail reception
where wine is served and your host(s) are having a glass, you may
want to have a glass to be sociable, but don't drink all of it. Even a
small amount of alcohol can impair your judgment.
Be prepared to ask a few questions during the meal, or you may end up
with a full plate of food when others are ready for coffee. A meal may
be a good time to ask your interviewer(s) about his or her career
path(s). Whatever happens, remember what your parents told you about
never talking with your mouth full!
Seven Things To Never Order at a Meal Interview
- Most expensive item on the menu
- Least expensive item on the menu
- Any fish with the head or bones still attached
- Any food that requires fingers or a bib