Business-Lunch Interviews

Conducting an interview around a meal is rather "laid back," however, not an unheard of process. This type of interview could be performed amongst friends and maybe previous colleagues, or possibly as a final test before selecting the winning candidate. By transplanting a smooth talking professional into an informal setting, it can place a highly skilled interview candidate into un-chartered waters.


This lax setting can provide a forum for candidness. An interviewee can provide answers freely rather than regurgitating textbook versions of what the employer "wants to hear." Used to discuss management obstacles, short- and long-term business goals, employee relations / confidentiality issues, and operations logistics, this type of meeting can be a highly informative meeting.


Get nervous when someone watches you eat? Actually, a person's confidence level can be determined by HOW poised one eats. A confident eater, who drops a little condiment upon his pants, grabs his napkin and without a fuss, wipes the mess clean. A nervous and diffident individual, wouldn't be able to concentrate upon anything else, but the spot.

Handle food, and everything else. Handle your food tactfully; practice beforehand, if necessary. You will certainly make a bad impression if you can't handle your own food. Below are simple rules to follow:

To pay, or not to pay. Generally, the company pays for the meal; of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Ensure you attend the meeting with enough cash to cover your meal and the tip.
Determining tip amounts: When the bill arrives, review for accuracy(of course) and make note of the sales tax amount. For example, New York State charges a 7% sales tax. If you wish to tip 15%, take the tax amount, double it, and round to the highest dollar.

Example: Tax $2.33 x 2 = $4.66; round to highest dollar, so the tip would be $5.00

One final note. As with any interview, thank everyone present with a firm handshake. Approximately 70% of interviewees do not send a thank you letter after the meeting; so, set yourself apart from the rest…SEND A HAND-WRITTEN NOTE!

-Teena Rose of Résumé to Referral

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