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The Lunch Interview – What Do I Order?

By Debra Wheatman

On August 9, 2013

In Ask Deb

About interview tips, job search


Dear Deb:

I got the call for a second interview!   We’re meeting for lunch at La Villa Italia.  What is the proper thing to order?   Honestly, I think I will be too nervous to eat.  Is it alright just to order an iced tea?  Any suggestions?



Dear Carla:

The lunch interview invitation is a very good sign.  Lunch interviews have a social element.  They want to get to know you better.  Also, it is a chance for the interviewer to observe your dining etiquette.  Definitely order the meal appropriate for the time of day.  If the interviewer orders a lunch meal, you should also order a lunch meal.  If the interviewer is only ordering coffee, do the same.  Order something simple to eat that does not require a lot of manipulation (like fajitas), anything messy, or anything you must eat with your hands (like a burger).  Meals that you can use a fork, such as a salad, are best.  Be careful with soups or pasta dishes.   

Mind your manners and don’t forget that you are on a job interview!


One thought on “The Lunch Interview – What Do I Order?”

  • Dee HR  says:
    August 15, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I second Deb's answer, but I have two quirky tips to add. If you are not used to eating salads, now is not the time to try it out. Lettuce and greens can sometimes be difficult to keep on the plate or in the bowl and cherry tomatoes can become tomato projectiles or table runaways, if you are nervous. Secondly, order a soft food, if appropriate. A broiled/baked fish filet is a good choice. Just in case, you have a mischievous interviewer that asks a question while you have your mouth full, you can either shove the fish in your cheek pocket and respond or swallow without choking yourself and answer. Just my thoughts…

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