Being interviewed over a meal presents some unique challenges. While you may feel more relaxed in this setting, your meal is not a break. Employers are still evaluating your abilities and paying attention to your manners.
- Follow the lead of the interviewer; they are your host
- Allow the interviewer to accept the check
- Thank them for their hospitality and the meal
- Order a menu item that will be easy to eat
- Do not order wine or beer, even if your interviewer does
- Taste your food before seasoning anything
- Conversation is the point of the meal, not the food
- Engage in enthusiastic conversation
- Draw attention to your communication savvy
When in doubt, look to your host and follow their lead. Your napkin belongs in your lap when you sit down. If you must leave the table before the meal is finished, place your napkin in your chair to signal to the waitstaff that you will be returning. When the meal is complete and you are leaving the table, place your napkin beside your plate. Utensils depend upon the number of courses. Begin with the utensils farthest from your plate and work your way in. Your dessert fork/spoon is located above the plate.