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5 Things to Know For a Meal Interview

December 15, 2015



When you have a job interview coming up, it’s important to ready yourself to the best of your ability. Showing up with your resume in hand is one portion of primping process, but there are so many other things to take into consideration. Depending on the type of interview you are having, which you can review in 6 Types of Interviews, you will want to make sure you are focused, prepared and confident. Let’s get you ready to show your potential new employee just how professional and great of a fit you are!


Be prepared. The Meal Interview.


Were you invited for breakfast or lunch with your potential new employer? A free meal is definitely a nice perk, but professional etiquette is still key.


  1. Be polite. When looking at the menu consider your options. Don’t order a sloppy joe, fried chicken or something super garlicky. Spaghetti or a giant hoagie may not be wise choices either. Additionally, I wouldn’t suggest prime rib or lobster. Be cognizant of the mess you could potential make - on your face and clothes and on the bill. Nothing too expensive. In fact, allow them to order first and with a few choices in mind, make your last minute decision based on what they order. Take small bites and eat slowly. You don’t want them to think this is your first meal in weeks and you also want to be able to converse while dining. And for the love of the angels above, do not, I repeat, do not order an alcoholic beverage. Even if the interviewer does, stick with water or coffee.

  2. Don’t worry about the bill. In any other situation, offering to pay is typical. Not in a meal interview. Since they invited you to a meal, it is their treat. It is not expected of you, but a thank you is absolutely required.

  3. Review the company. If you haven’t yet, research the company. Now is the time to investigate with a fine tooth comb. Explore their website, social media pages and pop them into a Google search. Depending on the type of position you are applying for, you’ll want to learn as much as you can. If you are interviewing for a marketing/advertising position see how they interact in the social media world. If you are looking to be a part of their accounting department, then try to scoop up some numbers. What is their yearly revenue?

  4. Be a humble superstar. Just like in any other part of the interview process, get familiar with yourself and your skillset. Grab a notebook or a few pieces of lined paper and get ready to get personal. With yourself. Print your resume and the job description and sit down with a pen and paper and start comparing your experience to the job description. What personal qualities do you have that are fitting for the position? How are your goals in line with the mission of the company? What experience do you have that makes you the perfect fit for the company? You can’t prepare too much for this part. The better you get to know yourself, the more confident you will be when asked specific questions about you. Get ready to talk about yourself - not in a over-confident, cocky way, but you also don’t want to be shy or reluctant. Now you’ll be ready to answer the dreaded question, “tell me about yourself” or  “why do you believe you would be a good fit for the job?”

  5. Follow up. Ask them when they anticipate to fill the position. Say thank you, shake hands and let them know you are extremely interested in the position. Walk out together and give them a little wave if you deem it appropriate.

Who would say no to a free meal? Probably not many. But remember to polite, say please and thank you and come prepared to talk about the job. This isn’t a social hour.



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