Food for Thought on Lunch Interviews
Caroline M.L. Potter | HotJobs
• Learn About the Restaurant in Advance: William Arruda, author of Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand, suggests, “Use what you can learn about the establishment to connect with something about you. For instance, ‘I understand this building used to be a printing press. I really like the architecture of these 1920s commercial spaces.’”
• Engage Your Interviewer About the Restaurant and Why He Chose It: Arruda recommends asking questions such as, “Have you been here before?” or “Do you have a favorite dish?”
• Beware the Overly Affable Interviewer: “Companies will often send you to a lunch interview with a ‘friendly’ employee — someone around your age, with a similar background, who adopts a relaxed approach that may prompt you to let your guard down,” says Jodi Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. “While you certainly can interact less formally, be extra wary of what you say.”
• Ask Questions About the Hiring Manager First: “Questions such as, ‘How did you join the firm?’ and ‘What do you like most about working there?’ are good ice breakers,” O’Donnell says.
• Turn Off Your Mobile Phone: “Do not check your phone — not even once,” O’Donnell says. “Even if the hiring manager is checking hers frequently, do not check yours.”