Interviewees often consider lunch interview as a bad sign. Rather it can prove to be beneficial to them as the interview would be conducted in a more casual atmosphere. The more relaxed atmosphere of the interview place signals that you are closer to the job.
Such interviews are scheduled when the employer wants to know some potential employee in a better, more casual way and to analyze his/her social skills. Interacting with you over a meal will allow the interviewer to test your interpersonal skills, communication skills, and your table manners in a casual setting.
Here are 20 tips for acing that lunch interview, which may lead you to a better career path:
- Confirm the details including the name of the restaurant, time, and location.
- Know the name of the interviewer or any other authorities who will be accompanying in the interview.
- Ask the recruiter if the reservation will be made under interviewer’s name or company’s name.
- Wear business formals. Just because you were being interviewed over a meal, doesn’t make it any less of an interview.
- Arrive early or on time. It would be ideal to arrive at least 10 minutes early.
- You can visit the restaurant a day before the interview to know the environment of the restaurant, whether it will be loud and crowded or really quiet and peaceful.
- Check if the employers have already arrived, even when you reach early. You never know.
- Wait for everyone to grab their seats before reaching for the menu.
- Always say no to the drinks, go for sparkling water instead. If the interviewer is having a drink and offers you to have some, you can have (only) one.
- Don’t be too picky while placing your order. Also do not order the finest steak and the most expensive wine when the interviewer is having a sandwich and a glass of water.
- Let the interviewer order first, and then order something in the similar or lower price range. Also, don’t order anything messy like tacos, cheese-loaded pizza, or a burger. Order something that you can have using a fork to keep it in apple-pie order.
- Keep in mind your Mum’s advice: Sit straight, eat slowly, don’t chew with your mouth open, don’t talk while eating, and elbows off the table.
- Grab small bites, so the interviewer does not have to wait for a long time for your answer until you swallow your food. If the question is raised when you are eating, simply signal that you are about to answer it as soon as you get done with that bite.
- Don’t focus solely on food. Food is less important when you are interviewed over a meal.
- Be prepared with all the recent updates in technology, politics, world, and finance. After all lunch interview is not about table manners alone.
- Never ever ask for a doggy bag.
- Don’t order a dessert if the interviewer doesn’t.
- Mention that you have got all the necessary documents and can present them whenever the interviewer wants. Ideally, it will be required after the plates have been cleared.
- Don’t reach for the bill, even if the bill is placed on your side, simply avoid it. Don’t become anxious, sometimes the interviewer just wants to see your reaction in such situation. The interviewer will reach for it as he is the one who invited you for the interview.
- Send a post-interview Thank-you note, and do not forget to thank for the meal.