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How to Have a Good Lunch Interview

Interviews are stressful experiences on their own but can also become more stressful when combined with eating. Your manners are almost as important as how you answer the questions that the interviewer asks. Lunch interviews are becoming more and more popular as a way for companies to recruit new talent. Read on for some ways to help increase your chances of having a good lunch interview.

Manners are very basic things that a person should always be mindful of as sometimes we do slip into bad habits. Your mother used to always caution you to “Mind your manners!” and this is especially true when you are having a lunch interview. Always remember to be polite at a lunch interview as well as being aware and being prepared.

The interviewer is not just taking note of the answers you give to the questions he asks but also how polite you are in general. How you treat the wait staff at the restaurant is being assessed as well. It is important to always show respect and courtesy to everyone and remember that words, “please” and “thank you.”

Be aware of your actions and mannerisms as even the smallest things are assessed at the interview. Never talk or chew with your mouth full of food or pick at your fingernails, or put your elbows on the table or make snide remarks. All of these negative behaviors will work against you in the long run. If etiquette is not something you are that knowledgeable about then check out some books that will give you some ideas. Emily Post’s books on etiquette are some of the best around.

It is important to remain professional and formal during a lunch interview. There are no diehard rules about what type of meal to order but it is always best to err on the side of conservatism. Avoid messy foods that have lots of sauce on them or are complicated to eat and also foods that must be eaten with your fingers. This is not the time for spaghetti, pizza or chicken wings. Steer clear of foods that are smelly and can leave you with bad breath. A lunch interview is not the time to order a meal that has onions or garlic in it.

A lunch interview necessitates conversation so order food that is quiet to eat. Stay away from anything that is crunchy or loud. For example why you may love Caesar salad it is bad on three counts for a lunch interview- it can be messy with the creamy sauce and Parmesan cheese; it will not leave your breath fresh and it can be noisy due to the croutons on top of it.

Always “follow the leader” when it comes to deciding what price of meal to order. Watch to see if the interviewer orders an appetizer and the price of the entrée he orders and then follow suit. It is also good form to order as many courses as the interviewer does so you will both finish eating at approximately the same time.

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