Preparing for a Dinner Interview?


If you’re scheduled for an interview over a meal, and you’ve never done this before, there are a couple of things you should consider before the meeting.

One of the most important things you have to do when interviewing over dinner, lunch or even a breakfast, is to be decisive when you are ordering. Don’t hesitate. Keep it simple and don’t order difficult food to eat. Some foods are very messy to eat where you have to use your hands and a lot of napkins. Stay away from ordering these types of foods. You should order something light and easy to chew.

Although you’re meeting over dinner, it’s still an interview and that is the purpose of the meeting so eating is secondary. You will be watched, so be decisive and mind your manners. If you’re interviewing in a different Country you might want to check the different customs of that Country. In some Countries you will have to be aware of their culture. This stuff matters.

Stay away from drinking alcohol and smoking during this interview. Today companies have negative views of these habits, so don’t even risk it. I have had clients pass on candidates because they smoked. That’s a little extreme, but it happens. I am not telling you to quit these habits, just stay away from it while you’re interviewing.

It is very easy to let your guard down during these types of interviews, don’t do it. Again, this is still an interview and it’s very important for you. Take it seriously, regardless of the type of restaurant or setting. Believe me, you are being watched.

Finally, you shouldn’t have to pay for your meal, but I’ve seen stranger things in my career. Make sure you have money just in case you have to pay for your meal, parking, etc. Frankly I would be concerned about joining a company that makes you pay for anything, but you need to be prepared just in case. Enjoy yourself and have fun! I hope this helps.

Good luck to you!

Mike Palumbo