Technology Job Tip: Watch Out for the Interview Lunch

lunch interview

There are two main reasons that potential employers take you out to lunch during a technology job interview. The first is because it’s standard procedure for their day-long sessions. The second is that you’re a serious enough job prospect that they want to get to know you better. In either case, don’t make the mistake that the lunch is just a chance for you to eat and have idle chit-chat. It’s still part of the interview and you’ll be judged on everything from your fit with the company culture to table manners to intelligence. Follow these tips to make the best impression.

  • Order something that’s easy to eat with utensils. You want to focus on interacting with your lunch companions and not struggling with a complicated meal. Avoid finger foods, such as fried chicken, foods that require special techniques, such as spaghetti, or anything smelly and crunchy, such as garlic pork rinds. Stick with salads, and easy-to-cut sides of meat, such as chicken breast or sirloin steak. Avoid alcohol to stay shape or anything that requires a straw to sip, which can make you look uncouth.
  • Think of others first. Be polite to everyone at the restaurant from the host to the busboy. The way you act with them reveals much about how you’re likely to treat colleagues and customers. Take your lead from the interviewers. Allow them to sit and order first. Order an appetizer or dessert only if they order them as well. Avoid saddling your server with complicated food instructions unless you want your interviewers to think you’re high maintenance.
  • Think of how the conversation might relate to the job and talk accordingly. You never know if the interviewers are just being friendly or trying to find out specifics about you. So always assume the topic relates to your future position in some way. For example, if they ask about hobbies, talk about heading your book club, to show that you can handle leadership. If they discuss sports, bring up your position at the local softball team so they know you’re a team player.

How you behave during the lunch may well convince them that you’re the right person for the job. So treat your repast seriously. If you want more tips on finding technology jobs, please contact us.

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