Lunch Time on the Job Hunt

It’s April, the school year is winding down and our Alphas’ seniors are well into the job hunt. Many of our seniors are entering into the interview process which can be a bit intimidating. In today’s world everything is more complicated than it should be, and we are all in such a hurry that we often do two or more things at once, so naturally we would combine a regular meal with an interview. The lunch interview is much harder than a regular interview because it has that added element of a meal; more things can go wrong. In a regular interview you have to worry only about answering the question and dressing to impress. A lunch interview, however, is more involved, and, thus, can be a little scary. Have no fear, though, seniors. I am going to teach you how to ace your lunch interview.

Pre-Meal

You will want to do a little reconnaissance on the place first. Find out what the parking situation is, this will keep you from being late because you were looking for a parking spot.

Try explaining this one after your interview.

It is also important to pick out the right table. Avoid tables near the hostess stand and the kitchen for obvious reasons. Steer clear of the half booth half table thing-a-ma-jigs; you don’t want Joe Schmoe listening in on your lunch interview. If the restaurant has patio seating find out which way is east and west. Keeping in mind the sun rises in the east and sets in the west your seats should be arranged on the North and South side of the table. Show up thirty minutes early to request your table.

Prepare your thank you note. Go ahead pre-write your thank you note. Put it in an envelope; seal it and use the correct postage. Take it with you to the interview.

The meal

Go online, and pick out your meal ahead of time. This will give you more time to make casual conversation instead of trying to decide if you want the fish tacos or the nachos supreme – neither of which would be a good choice (I’ll explain why later). When you arrive at the restaurant, glance at the menu for 20 seconds, and then put it down. This will lead your future employer to believe that you are decisive and can process large amounts of information very quickly.

Try to avoid foods that have pungent smells, are difficult or messy to eat, and are crunchy (avoid crunchy foods because they are loud and could make it difficult to hear the questions being asked.)

Remember to taste your food before you eat it. I once heard a story about a man who hired based on your performance in his lunch interview. If you seasoned your food before tasting it, he would not hire you. The reasoning was that he didn’t want anyone in his company to make decisions before taking in all the information available to them. This man was Henry Ford. Not sure how true the legend is but I would hate to find out the hard way, and, personally, I think it’s just rude to assume the chef’s mistakes before tasting his food.

Most likely you will be doing a lot of talking. This means your future employer will finish before you so order something small, and take manageable bites.

Don’t order soup or salad. They can both get messy, and if that soup is good you and I both know you will be dying to pick up that bowl and drink that little bit hiding down in the deep concave area of the bowl where no soup spoon no matter how circular can go.

Just don't do it!

Post Meal

Don’t order dessert, you’ve had enough. Finish up the questions and thank them for the meal. On your way back to your car find a street side mailbox or a post office and drop off your thank you note.

Don't wait around and forget. Mail that thank you letter now!

Now that you have my tips, go out and use them. I am curious to see how many, if any, of y’all I help get a job with these simple lunch interview tips. If these help you, please comment in the box and let me and tell me about your new job. If you want some help on answering the tough questions in an interview situation, watch some of the awesome videos on the Chi Psi Career Center for expert tips from a top recruiter.

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