Follow-up and Creating Thank you Letters

A lunch or dinner interview serves to evaluate both your professional competencies and social skills. Despite its seemingly casual nature, remember that it remains a formal interview setting, where every action and word is under scrutiny. While business discussions may or may not occur, it’s essential to follow the lead of the host and avoid asking questions that could cause discomfort.

Here are some key considerations for navigating a dinner interview:

  • Wait for the host and other guests to arrive before taking your seat.
  • Select a dish that is neither messy nor overly expensive.
  • Expect the host to cover the meal expenses without debating over the check.
  • Eat slowly to maintain decorum while keeping pace with others.
  • Place your utensils on the side of the plate between bites, not beside it.
  • Refrain from using a toothpick or picking your teeth in front of others.
  • Politely request permission before leaving the table, and remember to move your chair forward.
  • Avoid complaining about the service or food, as it reflects poorly on your manners.
  • Chew with your mouth closed and refrain from talking or drinking with a full mouth.
  • If others are having alcoholic beverages, it’s acceptable for you to do so too, but always drink responsibly and in moderation.

Remember, you’re being evaluated throughout the entire interview process, from the moment you receive the invitation to the moment you leave. Professionalism and proper etiquette are essential at every step of the way.

Additionally, maintain engaging conversation while being mindful of topics that are appropriate for a professional setting. Avoid controversial subjects or overly personal matters. Instead, focus on discussing industry trends, mutual interests, or the organization’s goals and values. Remember to express gratitude to the host for the opportunity to meet over a meal. Finally, follow up with a thank-you note promptly after the interview to reiterate your interest in the position and express appreciation for their time and hospitality. By demonstrating polished etiquette and genuine interest, you’ll leave a positive impression that could contribute to your success in securing the job opportunity

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