Don’t Do These 7 Things at a Lunch Interview
You’re trying to come off as the best version of yourself during an interview. You may be confident in your job interview chops, but lunch interviews present their own challenges. For a successful interview, don’t do these things:
1. Order alcohol. Never, ever do this. Not only does it come off as unprofessional, but you’re trying to make the best possible impression during a job interview. Alcohol is not known for making people more polished, polite and professional.
2. Order spaghetti. Or any kind of pasta, really. Pasta is delicious and wonderful, but there are practical considerations here. It’s very difficult to get a whole noodle on your fork at once. You don’t want to bend over and slurp up a long noodle Lady and the Tramp-style during a job interview. Nor do you want to bite off the errant noodle and have the rest of it drop from your mouth to the plate. It’s an unpleasant image, but these things do happen. And of course, tomato sauce will stain your freshly pressed shirt if you’re not careful.
3. Order the most expensive thing on the menu. This is just rude when someone else is picking up the tab (and typically, the company that’s interviewing you will). Plus, if you spend as much company money as possible just for lunch, what are you going to do when they give you control of a budget or a company credit card?
4. Use poor table manners. This covers everything from starting on your meal before your interviewer’s meal arrives to forgetting to put your napkin in your lap.
5. Treat the wait staff poorly. Again, you’re trying to come off as the best version of yourself during a job interview. Badgering the waiter will not make a good impression.
6. Eat too much, or too little. Don’t overeat, but do eat something. They’re taking you out, after all.
7. Talk with your mouth full. This could fit under the table manners section, but it’s worth emphasizing. When it sounds like your interviewer is coming to the end of a question, finish chewing and swallow so you’re ready to answer. It’s okay if you have to pause for a moment before you start talking.
TL;DR: Don’t order alcohol, messy food or anything too expensive. Be polite.