Job interview during lunch or dinner

It’s not common for the first job interview to take place during dinner or lunch. The situation is too informal, the applicant and the recruiter don’t know each other and there’s not enough confidence. However, the second interview, in a much more relaxed environment, could be over lunch or dinner.

If this happens to you, or if after an interview in the office you’re invited to dinner or lunch, remember that you are still in the spotlight. The interview isn’t over yet.

We want to give you a few tips that will help make the meal as stress-free as possible. If you have problems or questions on how to behave at the table, check out a book about etiquette and manners.

* Ask for items that are easy to eat.
* Stay away from spicy plates or those with sauces so you won’t get any stains.
* Take small bites, without dropping or spilling anything.
* Do not grab the food with your fingers
* When in doubt, follow your host’s example on how to eat or what dishes to order.
* If you find it appropriate, you can ask your host “What do you recommend?”. So you have an idea of what they might ask.
* Ask for dishes in the same price range or even lower than the recruiters, never choose the most expensive ones on the menu.
* If other people order an appetizer or a starter, do the same. If they don’t ask for dessert, you shouldn’t either.

* Normally it’s not recommended to drink alcohol during the interview. However, if you’re in a group dinner or a cocktail party where there’s wine and interviewers are drinking, you can order a glass to be sociable, but don’t drink it all. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your judgement.
* Train yourself to be able to answer questions while eating. Otherwise, they’ll get to the coffee and you’ll still be with the first course.

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