Interview Tips-in an informal setting

Getting interviewed in an office board room is easy as compared to a public place.There are distractions, interview table manners and ofcourse ‘what to order’ if you have to do most of the talking. We do not want you talking with mouthful of food, so we decided to save you from misery and give you tips.

First – What to wear for an informal interview- even though you are interviewing at an informal place, it’s still an interview so one needs to dress up appropriately. Dress up in business formals but make sure you are not uncomfortable. Too tight or too revealing will make you fidget and nervous. Jeans may look too casual. Arrive a little before the scheduled time for the interview and greet your interviewers preferably before they are seated and in wait for you. This way you get an opportunity to scan the restaurant / public area and choose a location which seems most comfortable to you – preferably away from the main door or the kitchen area or the restrooms as these are the areas of most traffic and distraction.

Keep your purse handbag away from the table but do have your portfolio/folder/papers with a pen on the table in front of you.

Second important thing to consider on an informal interview setting is – what to order. It is a good idea to look up the restaurant menu beforehand to know what you would order. You can be better prepared and also not take too much time in deciding what to order. Usually food would be ordered before the interview begins. Our advice is to order something light – something that you are comfortable eating and also that does not involve messing up hands or dress.  Bite sizes entrees are much better than a burrito or large sandwiches. Do not order or drink alcohol during the interview – even if it is on the house!

For interview skills over lunch, never ever speak with your mouth full. Please do not forget your table manners. Focus on the interview rather than finishing your meal. What matters is how well you perform at the interview rather than how much you finish on your plate. There might be times when you don’t get the question from the interviewer, either because of the distractions around or you were chewing away; ask politely to rephrase the question or elaborate.

Once the interview is done, your interviewer will most likely pay for the bill, so do not insist in paying. Fold your napkin on your plate side, before wiping your hands. Shake Hands and Good luck!

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