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A regular office interview can be difficult enough but what happens when your potential employer invites you to an interview over lunch? There are so many possible pitfalls it is important to know what to do and what not to do. At a lunch interview, there is more being evaluated than your skills and experience. Here is an idea of proper and improper lunch etiquette techniques and how to put our best foot forward for a mealtime interview.

  1. Prepare for conversation. Before you go to the restaurant prepare for the conversation. A lunch interview will involve more general conversation and less information about your background and experience. Read the local news and the national news to make sure you are caught up with current events. This will give you topics and ideas to talk about.
  2. Review the restaurant menu. Another good thing to review before you head over to the restaurant is the menu so you aren’t stumbling over choices once you sit down. You don’t want to order something that you eat with your hands or with too much sauce, onions, or garlic. Salads are typically the easiest meal to choose.
  3. Dress professionally. Treat a mealtime interview just like you would any other. Dress professionally. Don’t wear white in the off chance that you splatter or spill food. Wear something that will be comfortable and not restrictive while you’re sitting and eating.
  4. Follow the leader. The easiest way to handle a lunch interview is to follow the lead of the others at the table. Don’t open the menu or put your napkin on your lap until your interviewer does. Mirror their body language but don’t take their poor etiquette as a signal to do it as well. Keep your elbows off the table and don’t talk with your mouth full.
  5. Be polite to servers. Finally, the best thing you can do at a mealtime interview is be polite to the service staff. Don’t be overly demanding when it comes to your meal. Don’t raise a fuss if something is incorrect. Your interviewer may want to see how you interact with others as criteria for their decision.

Are you ready for your next interview? NRI Staffing offers jobs in Washington DC and offer more interviewing tips today!

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