Mastering The Lunch Interview
Interviews can be nerve-racking, brain-draining, headache-inducingexperiences. These days, recruiters have found a way to make theinterview even more difficult by combining the experience with ameal. This means that in addition to listening to the interviewer,formulating intelligent responses, and trying your hardest to beconfident, you now have pay attention to how you look while eating.
Interviews over lunch or dinner are an increasingly popularrecruiting tool. This http://www.WorkTree.com career article givesyou the need-to-knows of the meal interview.
1. Mind your manners
2. The dish dilemma
3. Consume and converse
4. Finish with a bang
1. MIND YOUR MANNERS
It may seem unnecessary to mention, but those basic table manners youwere taught as a child still matter. In casual settings, poor mannersare not always corrected. Therefore, you could have picked up somehabits that your mother would be ashamed of and more likely than not,your interviewer probably will not be too be impressed by themeither.
Here are just a few of the habits you should be mindful of during ameal interview:
- BE POLITE. In addition to evaluating your answers to questions, aninterviewer is also assessing your personality. Be courteous andrespectful to everyone, especially the wait staff. Words such as "please" and "thank you" speak worlds about your character.
- BE AWARE. Keeping you elbows on the table, chewing with your mouthopen, talking with your mouth full all convey a negativeimpression. Pay attention to even your smallest actions.
- BE PREPARED. If you feel uncertain about your table manners,consult the experts. Emily Post's books on etiquette areconsidered to be among the definitive works on etiquette. There isno shame in doing research; after all, this is an interview.
2. THE DISH DILEMMA
Even though you are being treated to a nice meal, you are not free toorder any dish you like. You are in an interview, and therefore, youhave the duty of maintaining a certain level of professionalism andformality throughout the meal.
There are no definitive rules of food selection, and you may have tomake a game-time decision. However, following these rules will helpyou steer clear of trouble:
- AVOID MESSES. Steer clear of foods that have to be eaten with yourhands or have a tendency to splatter. It is hard to recover fromthe embarrassment of splashing your interviewer with spaghettisauce, nor do you want to inadvertently adorn yourself with gravyor cream sauce. So stick to foods that can be cut into smallpieces with a knife and fork.
- NO STENCHES. Avoid foods that have a strong or unpleasant order.You are better off having an interviewer not remember you at allrather than as the candidate with bad breath. So no matter howmuch you love onions and garlic, lay off the stinkers for onemeal.
- KEEP IT QUIET. You need to be able to conduct a civilconversation. Avoid foods that are crunchy and noisy to eat. In apublic setting there is a lot of noise that could drown out thevoice of a person sitting across from you so try not to order foodthat would add to the problem.
- FOLLOW THE LEADER. You may be wondering if a menu item is pricedtoo high or if to order an appetizer first, etc. The answer is tofollow your interviewer's lead. Try to order food in the sameprice range as the interviewer and order the same number ofcourses. You do not want to be sitting idle while the recruiter isstill eating.
3. CONSUME AND CONVERSE
You are at an interview and also dining out. This means you need tonot only be talking, but also eating. It can sometimes be difficultto do both.
Try and keep these issues in mind when posed with the challenge ofeating and talking at the same time:
- YOU ARE IN CONTROL. Don't feel so pressured to talk that you don'teat at all. This can be interpreted as nervousness.
- ASK QUESTIONS. When going to an interview, it is always a goodidea to have questions. This will allow you get more informationon the company and show that you have done your homework. Duringthe meal interview, it will also give you the opportunity toactually eat as your interviewer responds to your questions.
4. FINISHING WITH A BANG Unlike that of a standard interview, the end of a meal interview doesnot just end with a handshake and a "Thank You". There are otherthings to keep in mind including:
- DON'T OFFER TO PAY. It's never expected of a job candidate, andyou don't need to do it.
- NEVER ASK FOR A DOGGY BAG. No matter how delicious the meal was,requesting to take a portion of it home is not appropriate for thesetting.
- REAFFIRM YOUR INTEREST. Let the interviewer know how much youwould like to work for his/her company.
- A "Thank You" AND HANDSHAKE CAN'T HURT. As in any interview, don'tforget to thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet withyou. In addition, be sure to be gracious and say that you enjoyedthe meal and end the interview with a firm handshake. Make sure tofollow up with a thank you letter in the morning.
The meal interview is tricky, but not impossible. With a littleguidance and a lot of confidence, you can sail through them withflying colors. Just try to keep these helpful hints in mind. Goodluck and bon appĂ©tit!
We hope you found this edition helpful Selin, and we promise to bringyou even more valuable career advice and tips next month.
This article can be read directly online at: http://www.worktree.com/newsletter/meal-lunch-interview.html
"Helping You Find More Jobs Faster"
Nathan Newberger is the job and career expert at http://www.WorkTree.com Nathan has over 10 years experience in staffing and human resources. He has worked both as a recruiter and career counselor. Mr. Newberger has been the Managing Editor at http://www.WorkTree.com for the past 5 years and his articles have helped thousands of job seekers.
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