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Did you say Lunch?

February 19, 2009


Imagine you get an interview for a great job and the next thing you hear is that it will be a lunch interview. When I heard this, my first reaction was okay, this could be interesting. I had a mix of emotions, but from experience I can say it isn’t as bad of a situation as you may think.

True, I did have my mom and a host of other friends and family telling me what to eat or what not to eat and to make sure nothing was stuck in my teeth. While this is all good advice, the best advice I have since my lunch interview is to eat how you normally eat.

If you normally eat a hamburger and fries, get a hamburger and fries. If you end up ordering something that you don’t like or have never had before, you are going to be concentrating on the food, when you really need to be concentrating on the interviewer. I decided to go with a chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries, which were recommended to me. But, that is beside the point.

I think a lot of good can come from lunch interviews. It is a much more relaxed atmosphere and I felt as though I got to know the interviewer better then I would in a boardroom style meeting. There was still ample time to conduct the interview and discuss the business at hand.

Don’t worry too much about your etiquette, because the employers are more interested in your ability to do the job rather than your table manners. But, just make sure you don’t stuff your face and answer a question at the same time.

In terms of who picks up the bill, if the interviewer requested a lunch interview, then the bill will most likely be picked up by them. On the other hand, if you initiated contact and requested a lunch meeting, then the bill is yours.

If you are still a little anxious about your lunch interview, as I was, visit for some great tips and advice.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Joanna permalink
    February 19, 2009 6:44 pm

    A few questions:

    1.Would it be a good idea to offer to pay for your own meal, or should we just wait until the interviewer makes the first move?

    2. What should I do if I see that my interviewer has a large chunk of food in between his teeth? Ignore it? Tell him/her? Check my own teeth to remind him/her that maybe he/she should as well?

    What a stressful situation this could be.

  2. Leslie permalink
    February 19, 2009 6:50 pm

    In my experience, don’t worry about the bill. It may help if the waiter/waitress asks if the check is together or separate at the beginning and then you would know, but obviously, you can’t control that.

    If the interviewer has food in his teeth, I think you would have to gauge the situation. I would probably just ignore it, unless it was too much to handle. Then I would politely say something.Really, it is a situational thing and depending on the relationship you have with the interviewer.

  3. Trisha permalink
    February 19, 2009 7:07 pm

    Wow, I had never thought about all these details and things to watch out for. Thanks for the tips! They will definitely come in handy soon for me.

  4. Trisha permalink
    February 19, 2009 8:07 pm

    Wow! I had never thought about all the details of having a lunch interview. Thanks for the tips! They will definitely come in handy soon.

  5. Heather permalink
    February 19, 2009 8:14 pm

    Funny how what is supposed to be a more relaxing environment can end up causing more anxiety because it is not the norm. I glad your interview went well, and should I need to do a lunch interview in the future, I will definitely take your advice 🙂

  6. Corey permalink
    February 20, 2009 2:48 am

    As an interviewer, I really like the lunch interview. We really get to see you in a more casual setting. I guess my best advice is to be yourself, but never, never forget it is always an interview.

  7. Alice permalink
    March 2, 2009 1:22 am

    I found this article informative and helpful. I suspect a prospective employer can determine a lot about an applicant, how they interact in the real world etc. during a lunch interview. Being oneself is always a good policy to practice.

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