6 Tips for Job Interviews over Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

Mealtime InterviewNowadays, interviews taking place over a meal are becoming more and more common. This is an opportunity for your prospective boss to observe how you handle yourself in a public setting and during a business meal. Follow these tips if mealtime interviews are out of your comfort zone.



Before the Interview

If the restaurant or location is unfamiliar, do your research to know what to expect. Continue doing research about the company and your prospective boss at the same time. Looking for the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile is a good start. Bring a pen and paper to list down all important points, together with copies of your resume and work portfolios.

Arriving at the Restaurant

Be prompt and arrive at least 15 minutes early to the interview. Put your mobile phone on vibrate and wait for your prospective boss to arrive. Do not order an alcoholic drink, even if the interviewer chooses to visit the bar area.

Follow the interviewer to your table and place the napkin on your lap. Leave the napkin on your chair in case you need to go out or use the restroom. Keep your elbows off the table while sitting up straight. Do not attempt to answer questions with your mouth full.

Placing an Order

Order something light to make it easier to converse. Avoid ordering messy foods that will prevent you from taking small bites. Remember that the interviewer will be evaluating you from start to finish. Be courteous and polite with the server at all times. Stop yourself from ordering an alcoholic beverage even if your recruiter has one. You need to keep your mind in focus, and drinking alcohol would definitely be of no help.

During the Meal

Brush up on your table etiquette, regardless of whether it’s an upscale restaurant. Use glasses that are set to your right, and use your fork and spoons from the outside in. Sharing foods with multiple interviewers should be served by the person closest to the dish from left to right. Do not start eating until everyone has been served.

During the Interview

Going to the interview over a mealtime is a great opportunity to sell yourself to the recruiter. Talk about why you want to work for them, and relate your skills to core competencies that would make you the perfect candidate for the job. Always have a list of questions to ask to learn more about the company and allow you to take bites of your food. It is recommended to find common interests and avoid topics related to religion and politics.

Before Leaving

The bill should always be picked up by the employer. Show appreciation by thanking them for the meal and their time. Ask for a business card to be able to send a thank-you note and express your interest in the job.

As you can see, there’s no need to make a mess of a mealtime interview. Enjoy your meal, and hopefully your next job.

Read 11738 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 March 2016 13:33
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.