Tips To Ace Your Next Job Interview Over Lunch

Chelsea Lawler

The job interviewing process can be unique! You may find yourself conducting a second or third interview while dining with your interviewer. It is a common practice for a second or third interview to take place in a restaurant. It allows the interviewer to interact with you on a more, personable, vulnerable level. How do you handle yourself while stuffing your mouth with food? What should you order? Do not be nervous! We will explore the various tips to make you more comfortable at your next mealtime interview.

Do Your Research
Prior to your interview, be sure to do more research on the company or individual you are interviewing with. Be sure to bring extra copies of your résumé, a pen, and notepad to the interview. Additionally, think about your dining etiquette. I know this may seem trivial, but it is imperative you conduct yourself as a professional when you are dining.

Location
If you are unsure of where you are meeting, scope out the location a few days prior to the interview. Once you are familiar with the location, this will avoid any issues with being late to your interview. On the day of the interview, arrive fifteen minutes early. Be sure any electronics or smart phones are placed on silent. If possible, wait for your interviewer to arrive in the lounge or bar area. Do NOT order an alcoholic beverage.

When your interviewer arrives, greet them with a handshake and appropriate eye contact. Once you are seated, be mindful of your posture. Be sure your elbows are off of the table and please, do NOT speak with your mouth full.

What Should I Order?
The rule of thumb is to follow the lead of the interviewer. If you see them ordering a lighter lunch or dinner, follow suit. Do NOT order a pile of spaghetti that is drenched in sauce. Avoid messy foods! Look at the menu for a meal that is easy to eat. Chew your food and take small bites.

I know I sound like a mother telling you how to eat your food, but it is imperative you are able to converse easily. Be kind to the server. This will show the interviewer that you are respectful and attentive to those serving you.

What Should I Say?
The conversation between you and the interview will be similar to your first interview. You will have a chance to sell yourself to the interviewer, while highlighting your strengths, achievements, and competencies. Be sure to prepare topics to discuss with your potential employer, such as company culture, management style, or growth within the company. Asking questions will allow you to gain further insight into the company as well as the position.

Allowing the interviewer to talk and be personable will show you are respectful and appreciative. Keep the conversation professional. At the end of the meal, be sure to thank your interviewer for their time. The interviewer should pick up the bill, so it is imperative you express your gratitude. Be sure to ask for your interviewer’s contact information in order to send a thank you note.

About The Author

Chelsea Lawler

Chelsea Lawler is a recent graduate of Philadelphia University with her Master of Science degree in Fashion Apparel Studies. She graduated from Mount Aloysius College in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Chelsea enjoys running her small jewelry business for vintage clothing, and traveling. With her writing at Career Igniter, she hopes to educate both students and job seekers on the various facets of the job hunting process.

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