Being interviewed by an employer in a restaurant setting carries with it some unique challenges. Though you may feel more relaxed being interviewed over a meal, do not forget that this is a very important part of the interview.
Employers will be assessing your conversational and interpersonal skills to determine how well you would fit in with the organization and/or their clients.
Here are some tips to consider during the lunch/dinner interview:
- Demeanor, language, and behavior should all be 100% professional.
- Brush up on current events (world, sports, UNC) so that you can converse intelligently during the meal.
- The meal you order should be in the mid-price range; not the most or least expensive item. You may want to ask the interviewer what he/she recommends on the menu to get a gauge.
- Do not appear too indecisive or overly particular when ordering.
- Avoid items that are challenging or messy to eat, such as pasta or dishes with a lot of cheese. Cut large sandwiches in half to make them more manageable.
- Even if the employer is drinking alcohol, it is advised that you refrain from doing so.
- If the service is slow or the food is not exactly how you ordered it, avoid complaining or making an issue of it. The point of the meal interview is for you and the employer to get to know each other, and for him/her to see how you conduct yourself in a social setting.
- It is customary for the employer to pay for the meal. Make sure you show your appreciation.