Dinner Interview

A lunch or dinner interview is used to determine your proficiencies and socialization skills. This type of interview setting seems casual, but do not let that catch you off guard; it is still an interview! Your every move and every word will be judged. Business may be discussed or it may not. Follow the host’s (person who called the meeting) lead and do not ask questions that could make someone feel uncomfortable.

There are a few other aspects of this type of interview to understand and follow.

  • Wait for the host and other guests to arrive before taking a seat.
  • Do not choose a dish that is messy or expensive.
  • Expect the individual that called the meeting to pay for the meal. Do not argue about who is going to pay when the check comes, as the (host) interviewer may take great offence to that gesture.
  • Eat slowly enough to act polite and remain professional, but fast enough to keep up with the rest of the people at the meeting.
  • Between bites place your utensils on the side of the plate, not beside it.
  • Do not use a toothpick in front of others in attendance; do not pick your teeth at all.
  • If you need to leave the table, ask to be excused, get up, and move your chair forward.
  • Never complain about the service or the food while you are invited for a dinner interview, it is just plain rude. 
  • Make a conscious effort to chew with your mouth closed. Do not talk or have a sip of your drink while your mouth is full. I know it sounds obvious, but many people get distracted and forget.
  • If others are having an alcoholic beverage, its fine for you as well, but if they are not, make sure you do not. Ensure not to over indulge in alcoholic drinks.

 Just remember this is part of the interview process and you are being judged from the moment the phone rings with the invitation, to the time you are driving home. Acting professional and demonstrating proper etiquette are critical.

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Candace Davies ACCC, CRW, CIC, CPRW, CEIP, CECC
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