Lunch interviews are becoming more and more common in many professional areas. While a regular job interview requires a certain set of skills, a lunch interview can be especially tricky. If you are facing one, however, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of acing that job interview.
For starters, obey all rules of a regular job interview. Dress appropriately, show up on time, and bring any required papers in a portfolio that is easy to set aside in case your potential employer wants to wait until after dessert to take a look at it. Being late to a job interview is always a no-no, but being late to a lunch interview is particularly damaging. People usually hold interviews over lunch because they lack the time to meet you at their office; if you are late, you are seriously reducing your chances for getting the job.
A job interview held at lunch offers you the chance of showing off your table manners. If you don't remember where the napkin goes or which fork to use, practice before the actual job interview. If you smoke, avoid the temptation, even if the restaurant allows it. Keep your elbows off the table, turn off your cell phone, and do not order anything too messy to eat, such as fried chicken or spaghetti.
When it comes to ordering during a job interview, always let others be your guide. Ask for something on the same price range, and skip alcohol if nobody else is having it. If you are forced to order first, stick to mineral water and don't select anything too pricey. Always try to pick up on what the other person is doing and try to mirror it. Is he ordering dessert? Join him. Is he eating slowly and speaking between bites? Do the same.
Remember to be polite to those around you. How you talk to the waiter says a lot about you and it can mean a world of difference to the person on the opposite side of the table. After the job interview is over, remember to send a thank you note.