Interviewing During Meals

You may receive invitations to have a meal with your interviewer(s) or attend a reception with a group of candidates. These are less about assessing your business acumen, and more so about seeing how you are able to interact with others in collegial and social situations.  Although the situation may have less formality than a tradition interview, consider meetings during meals to be just as significant as other types of interviews.
  • It is not advisable to drink alcohol at any time during an interview.
  • Choose food items from the menu that allow you to easily converse.
  • Mind your manners in interacting with the wait staff. Always use the words "Please" and "Thank you."
  • Take small bites so that you can quickly finish chewing before you answer a question; never talk with food in your mouth.
  • Do not ask for a doggy bag. Although you do not need to be a member of the clean plate club, try to eat what you ordered.
  • Eating should always be secondary to conversation.
  • Do not offer to pay the bill. The interviewer invited you so he or she will pay for the meal.
  • If there is any chance that you have food stuck between your front teeth, excuse yourself and go to the restroom and check a mirror. Carrying a toothbrush and/or dental floss is not a bad idea.