Interviewing during meals can be difficult because it involves two functions of the mouth that are not very compatible–talking and eating! Here are some tips that can make this a more positive experience:
– Order light foods that are not greasy or messy. Overstuffed sandwiches can be as deadly as spaghetti!
– Parallel your host’s tastes and price selection whenever possible.
– To minimize potential messes with tossed salads, order salad dressing “on the side.”
– Avoid finger foods or those requiring removing bones like fish or fowl.
– Pause between bites to talk–and rest your utensils on your plate while you are talking.
– The best practice is to never drink alcohol during a business meal. If pressed, order only one, and not an exotic mixed drink. A glass of white wine or a light beer reflects the tastes of a much more disciplined person than an order for a double martini!
– Do not smoke.
– Be courteous and cordial to all waiters and serving people.
– Do not offer to pay the bill. An employer would not have invited you if they did not expect to pick up the tab.
– Finally, be sure to thank your host for the meal and the chance to get to know him or her on a more personal basis.