Lunch Interview: Prepare Yourself Carefully


Businessmen do not like to waste their time. So for business meetings they often choose restaurants, a place where one can eat something tasty and discuss essential issues and urgent problems at the same time. That is why such a kind of interview as lunch interview becomes more popular and widespread. So let’s figure out what to do and how to get prepared for lunch interview carefully.

Interview kinds

There are a lot of different kinds of interview. When we imagine how an interview will look like, we see a certain place (office or something like that) and a man, whom we are going to have a dialogue with (for example, an employer or an HR manager). Interview kinds are very numerous, beginning with personal meeting, and ending with a telephone call or a video talk. In such a way experts of our resume service distinguish six types of interview. Each interview has its unique features. It can be multistage, combined of several kinds or, vise versa, it can be an absolutely new type. So, here are these kinds:

1. Preliminary interview.

2. Group interview.

3. Behavioral interview.

4. Listening.

5. Lunch interview.

6. During the day / whole day interview.

Of course, in this post on how to prepare for lunch interview we are going to talk about this very kind, i.e. lunch interview.

Lunch interview

An interview during lunch or dinner is not the most popular, but still quite common way of interview holding. However, such a form of communication usually causes more discomfort to a job seeker. In this case a candidate should follow the basic rules of table etiquette. It is better to order something not too much expensive and simple in its look. It is recommended to avoid drinking alcohol and pay more attention to the conversation than to the process of food eating. It is also advised not to discuss personal questions, issues on politics, religion, sex and race.

Interview: what rules of etiquette need to be kept

Modern business world appreciates when job seekers have not only education, qualification and work experience, but also reputation as a worker. The reputation is built on the base of what impression you make with your appearance, what your skills are and what your style of people treating is. That is why for successful job search you will have to know the base of etiquette when the interview is being passed.

The major goal is to make a favourable impression about yourself on an employer, to make him see your politeness and good manners, show your personality so that an employer realizes that it will be calm and comfortable to work with you in a team. Professional resume writers will help you to orient in how to behave and what to say at an interview in case you have a desire to be hired for a job.


  • It is recommended to sleep well before an interview, so that the next day passes on a positive wave.
  • In the evening choose the clothes (a costume) in pastel colours that will effectively emphasize your advantages and hide your disadvantages at the same time.
  • The scent of perfume must be discreet (the same is applied to deodorant).
  • According to the rules of a dress code women should always wear stockings or tights (even during the heat), because naked legs in the office surrounding are unacceptable, as well as open toed sandals. You also should wear shoes with closed toes.
  • Clothes and shoes should look perfectly, i.e. tidy, ironed, clean. Hands must be manicured with a neutral colour nail polish. Make-up should be done in a strict office style.
  • There should be no more than three colours in your clothes. You should not have defiant and too much bright look. Colorful shirts, transparent blouses, tops, shorts, mini-skirts are not acceptable to wear for an interview.


  • Come for an interview in advance, 10-15 minutes earlier its beginning. You need to take a breath after the way, fix your hair, make-up or costume and set yourself on a good mood for conversation.
  • Besides, you will have an opportunity to look around the office of a company and figure out what impression it makes on you and whether you want to work in a suchlike surrounding. Probably, our post on surviving first week at new job may become useful for you.
  • If you realize that you are being late, then you must call an employer and warn him. But in general it is highly undesirable to be late, as well as to come early the appointed time.

First minutes

  • Watch the posture and walk. Entering the office, your head high should be held high and shoulders should be straightened. Thus you will make an impression of a self-confident person. Do not forget to greet your interviewer.
  • If your interviewer (or interviewers) does not have receptionist and secretary, then there will be nothing wrong to ask where you may leave your outerwear.
  • If they offer you a cup of tea or coffee, do no refuse. Maybe an interviewer also wants to quench his thirst.

It is important!

  • According to the office etiquette rules knocking on the door is undesirable.
  • A company representative should give his hand for a handshake first.

During negotiations

Any candidate prefers to sit during an interview. However, it would not be polite to come in and sit down without permission. So, the advice is to stay and wait when an interviewer (or interviewers) offers you to take a sit. If they forget to ask you to sit, then ask whether you are permitted to do it.

If a chair, which you are going to sit on, is too far or it is in an uncomfortable position, then you may and even have to transpose it, so that you create convenient space for a conversation, and also you will show your initiative in such a way. However, keep in mind that an allowed distance between you and your interlocutor is from 1,5 to 2 meters.

Do not forget that your head should be kept straight and always think of the posture. Do not cross either legs or hands. Put the feet straight and place the arms calmly on a table. In such a way you will demonstrate that you have come “with peace” and are ready to cooperate. It would be nice if conversation is begun with complimenting the company.

Be attentive when you listen to the questions. It is desirable that answers you give should be brief and accurate. Do not be afraid to ask once again if you have not heard something or have not understood it clearly.

If an employer has exhausted his questions list, then you may begin to make your own questions. Let your questions be about the work process, future responsibilities and duties, and not about secondary things, such as your own office or the nearest café.

In case when interviewer does not speak about the further actions, you may ask when a final decision is made. But do not ask it directly. Speak about your professional skills first, having emphasized that you are the one who suits this position.

If you see that the meeting is coming to its end, thank your interlocutor for the invitation for the interview, for the time and say good bye. If there is also a secretary, say her good bye as well.

The things that are not allowed

  • Start talking first. Demonstrate patience and wait the moment when they ask you.
  • Say sorry for the absence of certain skills at the moment.
  • Talk about contentious issues.
  • Interrupt.
  • Fuss.
  • Demonstrate familiarity an interviewer demonstrates friendliness to you.
  • Let them realize the fact that high-ranking and famous people are in the list of your friends, even if it is true.
  • Tell about your financial and family problems.
  • Speak about the desired salary level. Wait when an interview starts to discuss it.
  • Try to continue a meeting, when it has obviously finished.

Eye contact

During the conversation look your interlocutor in the eyes. It will contribute to better understanding and effective communication. You will make an impression of a person, who is confident in his forces. And possibility to observe the facial expression of your interlocutor will help to realize how he treats the candidate, and thus it will be possible to correct the behaviour the way of self-presentation.

It is forbidden to stare all the time at the sides and try to see the documents on a table or someone’s personal staff.

Read the face signs and use gestures

Do not be afraid to smile. Smiling usually helps to break the ice, open any door, and turn the conversation into the right direction. Remember that face and body are means and they need to be used wisely to make your words more colourful and convincing.

You should never demonstrate that you do not like something or you are tensed. Do not trifle a pen, paper or accessories. Do not twist anything in your hands, it makes other people nervous.

After interview

As one of the options, coming back home, you may write an email to an employer, with whom there have been an interview today. In the letter thank him once again for his time and remind that you are eager to start working.

If the discussed terms pass and company representative does not call you, then make a call to remind about yourself (it is okay to make suchlike step) and thus your interest in cooperation with the company will be emphasized.

It is not allowed to:

  • Bother the company with phone calls if you have got refusal or unpleasant reply.
  • Get upset after each refusal. Any interview for you is training on selling yourself. The more interviews you pass, the better you master your self-presentation skills. And who know, maybe the next interview will be successful for you.

Advice: you have switched off the phone, don’t you? Even if an interviewer often checks or uses his own phone, a candidate is not allowed to do the same.

Warning: since you have a lunch interview, naturally you eat during it. It may happen that the dish is not finished or nothing at all is eaten (because you have been absorbed in the conversation), and you think of putting leftovers in a package and take them home. Do not do it! Of course, it also depends on the behaviour of your interviewer. So watch what the interviewer does and maybe it would be okay to follow his example.