What You Should Do If The Tab Is Placed Near You During A Lunch Interview


Photo: dearbarbie via flickr

Offering to pay for a meal when you’re out with a group of people may lead others to deem you as generous, but doing this during a job interview just makes you seem odd. In this situation, sit back and wait for the interviewer to pick up the check. Don’t reach for it, offer to split it or to pay for it. You were invited to the meeting. 

Whatever you do, do not argue over the check. This is not the time or the place to prove how generous you are with your money.  

In his book “Knock ’em Dead 2012: The Ultimate Job Search Guide

,” Martin Yate shares a story about an interviewer he knows who tests her candidates by having the server — by arrangement — always place the bill on the interviewee’s side of the table. She then sits back, watches their reaction and waits for “something interesting to happen.”

Yate writes: 

“If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, never pick up the check, however long it is left by your plate. When ready, your host will pick it up, because that’s the protocol of the occasion. By the same token, you should never offer to share payment.” 

It might be uncomfortable if the tab is placed right next to you, but remember that it’s a test and just ignore it.

Now see more rules of etiquette for your next business lunch > 

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