An increasing number of interviews include sharing a meal with your prospective boss and coworkers. Why? Prospective employers know it is a good way to determine how you would represent their company. Strategies to help you demonstrate you are the right person for the job:
Recognize wait staff; make eye contact, say thank you, and comment positively on the quality of service. The way a candidate treats servers is a good predictor of how they will treat clients.
Ask before you order. Demonstrate your ability to seek advice and be open to new possibilities. Ask others at the table if they have recommendations on what to order.
Select a meal that is easy (not messy) to eat. You want to be able to take small bits so you can participate in the conversation without worrying about talking with food in your mouth.
Skip the alcohol; respond to pressure to order a drink with a comment about being the designated driver and stick with non-alcoholic beverages.
Avoid negative talk; it is fun to swap business horror stories, but remember your prospective boss is trying to determine what you will tell others about her company.
Ask leading questions; this is a great opportunity to find out what you want to know about the company and what it is like to work there.
No doggie bag; chances are you will only be able to finish a part of your meal; it is better to let the majority of the meal go back to the kitchen then to leave the restaurant with it in a bag.
Keep your credit card in your wallet; the employer will pay.