Interview Over Lunch: Can You Handle It?
By Rose Bullecer | HRPeople
July 30, 2009
I’m not overly excited about the idea of being interviewed while I’m eating. It makes me very conscious about everything I do on the table e.g. how I chew my food, whether I’m using the right spoon or fork, how to masticate with finesse so that no food will get stuck in between my teeth and so on. It’s difficult for me to focus on the questions the interviewer asks of me when I’m distracted with food.
Interviews over a meal speaks a lot a about the candidate. Carol Smith, Senior Vice President of the Elle Group, makes sure that she does an interview over a meal to learn more about the applicant. She said that having a meal with someone is like a little microcosm of life. You can tell a lot about the person on how he carries himself in a restaurant setting. “Throughout a meal, the personality comes out”, she added.
Having an interview over a meal is similar to having a coffee shop interview. The former is trickier because other than keeping the conversation going with the interviewer, you have to interact with the wait staff as well. How you conduct yourself in front of them tells a lot about your personality. Are you the type who talk down to waiters? Do you order the most expensive food in the menu? Are you a difficult customer? These are some of the things that speaks volume about a person.
The next time you find yourself in an interview over lunch or dinner perhaps, be mindful of your etiquette because the meal will be part of the employer’s decision in the hiring process. Do not let your guard down or think that you have bested the other candidates in the list. Little did you know, all shortlisted candidates may have gone through the same interview procedure.