Kirk Baumann is a passionate recruiting advocate preparing the next generation of talent for the career of their dreams. He’s a social media enthusiast who loves technology and how it’s connecting people in ways like never before. Kirk currently serves as Director of Career Connections for SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) World Headquarters, working with Fortune 500 & 100 SIFE Partners companies, helping them recruit top talent for their organizations as well as working directly with students, alumni, and young professionals on career development, helping them find their dream job.
Kirk’s blog, Campus to Career, is dedicated to jobseekers of all kinds, with a particular focus on college students and preparation for their career after graduation. Kirk was named Top Job Search Blogger by Blogging4jobs.com in May 2010 and has been featured on the Job Search Secrets web show, RecruitingBlogs.com, Hire Plateau and Brazen Careerist.
You’ve done your job research. You polished your resume, attended the career fair, applied online and followed up with the recruiter. You may have already received a call from the recruiter to set up an interview and that interview may have gone perfectly. You expect that they’re going to offer you the job, when the voice on the other end of the line says, “I’m pleased to inform you that you’ve moved on to the next round of interviews.” WHAT?? They then tell you that the next interview is over lunch. GULP.
For recruiters or hiring managers, the lunch interview gives them additional perspective and insight into the “real you”. People can memorize GREAT answers to the toughest interview questions; having a phenomenal resume, even appearing to have excellent communication skills can only get you so far. The lunch interview (or dinner – whatever) puts you to the test.
It’s designed for two reasons:
- To allow the recruiter or hiring manager to get to know you on a more personal level.
- To see how you react to situations out of your comfort zone or element. You’re not in the office conference room with the interviewer or a panel. You’re in a much different setting with all kinds of variables to throw you off your game.
A few tips to help you make the most of your lunch:
- Bring a notepad and something to write with – just because it’s lunch doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking notes
- Be polite to the host, wait staff, ANYONE you interact with at the restaurant – people are watching and listening. I’ve even known hiring managers to arrive late and ask the staff about their interaction just to test the candidate. NOTE: Wait for the interviewer to arrive before being seated.
- Know before you go – check the restaurant’s menu ahead of time. Most are online these days. If you have dietary restrictions or are watching calories, you’ll have plenty of time to pour over the menu. Select 2-3 (just in case the restaurant doesn’t have one) choices that look good and keep them in mind when ordering. Be prepared and KNOW what you want – this should make a good impression.
- Order something simple – the point is to land the job. You can order the rack of ribs during your celebration dinner afterwards. Stick to things that can be eaten easily with a knife and fork. I’d also recommend water or other non-alcoholic beverages. If the host orders wine, politely decline. Now, if this interview is for a wine or spirits company, there’s a difference. Take your cue from your host. Just don’t order the most expensive bottle. Stick to the middle and to one glass.
Emily Post’s Guide to Etiquette still applies today. Check out this website for more information on which fork to use, what all the different plates are used for, and basic tips like how to pass the bread, which hand to use for your drink (yes, there is a right way) and much more.
Relax, be yourself, and don’t forget, it’s still an interview. Now, go land that job!