How to prepare for a lunch interview? You made it through your first interview! Your second interview is over lunch with your perspective new boss. It is at a great restaurant near their office and you have been there before. What do you need to know? What will the employer look for? Remember, you are not there for the food! You need to answer questions and not embarrass yourself!.
Henry Ford invited job candidates to lunch with him. He would observe if the candidate would salt his food before tasting it. If he did, he would not hire him. If he tasted the food first, he was a person who evaluated situations before taking action. Henry Ford believed in testing his candidates and this was it. Many employers evaluate candidates during lunch interviews for things you never think of.
Are you ready for your test? You expect hard questions, but many employers want to see how you act in different situations such as a lunch interview. A lunch interview means you need to juggle a meal, good manners, answer questions while eating a meal, and still be persuasive. You still need to be aware of being observed while you answer or ask questions.
What is the test? You may not know, but employers are looking for certain traits. It could be character, integrity or certain personality! You cannot prepare for this part so just be natural. Would the employer do something to see how you would react? It is possible. It is more likely that during the meal, he may describe a scenario and ask for your opinion. Remember, they want to see how you think. There is no right or wrong answer or is there?
About five years ago I read about how CEOs evaluate candidates based on how they treat waiters in a restaurant. Some may call it the unwritten rule of lunch interviews. Would an employer be above staging something and seeing your reaction? You may never know if it was staged or not! Handling mistakes, poor service or an accident provides insight into the candidate. A person who is nice to the employer and rude to the waiter or to others is not a nice person.
This is an interview and you should dress for it. That means put on the dark suit and good grooming. Do your research and have questions for the employer. Bring along your questions, a portfolio of your best work and anything else you think is important. Manners are important, but you need to juggle that and trying to impress the employer too. Order something simple so you can eat and answer questions without difficulty. You want to appear confident and at ease with the situation.
Arrive early and wait for the employer. Allow the employer to lead, wait for him/her to sit, take the napkin and order. The employer may defer to you to order first with drinks. Keep it nonalcoholic such as ice tea, sparkling water or perhaps even juice. Know what you will order before you get there. It takes the pressure off, if the employer makes a quick selection. Be polite to the server. Don’t make a big deal about a mistake.
Remember the employer sees how you handle everything. Don’t eat too fast, or eat and speak at the same time. Eating too fast or not at all looks as though you are nervous. Small bites will keep you ready to answer or ask questions. Never order dessert unless the employer does. The interview is not over until you are gone. He may observe you waiting for your car or how you handle a problem. He/she may even walk you to your car to see if it is clean or a mess. You are always being evaluated.
Simple things will prevent you from getting the job. How do you finish the interview? You should have questions or sample of your work to demonstrate your interest in the job. Be conscious of the employer’s time. Make your points and avoids mistakes, how you handle things will either help you get the job or keep you from it. What are you going to do? When you are finished with your meal fold the napkin and leave it by the plate.
This is an extension of an article I wrote recently about How to Ace that Interview? Lunch interviews put you on the spot! Keep in mind that the employer is observing you eating, answering questions and how you deal with problems and people. You can only prepare so much for this type of interview. You can practice the questions, work on your manners and even work on your people skills, but you need to act natural. Most experienced managers or executive see right through someone who is not genuine. Being genuine and confident is important. How to prepare for a lunch interview?
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