4 Ways To Avoid Completely Blowing Your Next Lunchtime Interview

eating messy

Photo: abbynormy via flickr

When job interviews take place in a social setting — like a restaurant — the casual meeting may result in you letting your guard down, but don’t let it. In fact, you should keep in mind that everything you do is being carefully judged.

Gayle Laakmann McDowell, a former recruiter at Google and author of The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company,

says that the lunch interview is probably happening because the interviewer wants to know what you’re like on a day-to-day basis.

Here are four ways to remain professional throughout the process:

1. Don’t order messy food. This might seem obvious, but if you’re not used to thinking about what you eat normally, you could find yourself with a messy plate of ribs, spaghetti or anything else that’ll make you look unkempt. 

2. Take cues from the interviewer. Wait for them to order first so you know how to follow and try to order food that’s in a similar price range. Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu.

Furthermore, listen to your interviewer to see which direction the meeting will go. For example, if your interviewer is discussing more personal topics, feel free to talk about your last vacation, but if not, then stick to professional topics. 

3. Limit your liquids. It’s not just with alcohol — you should refrain from drinking too many liquids in general so that you don’t run to the bathroom every chance you get.

4. Check your teeth afterwards. This isn’t the kind of first impression you want to be making.

Now see the other 29 rules of etiquette for your next business lunch>

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