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By Mary Gordon, MBA
IT Program Mentor
At WGU, advice from your mentors is invaluable as you make your way through your degree program. Mary, a Certified Etiquette Consultant and former Program Director at the Academy for Emerging Professionals, shares tips to help you ace your job interview luncheon.
More and more employers are conducting interviews over a meal, but it is not new. They are adding the Edison Test to their hiring process. Thomas Edison, inventor and businessman, would always invite a potential assistant over to eat. He said if the person seasoned the soup before tasting it, the individual did not get the job. So, how does your dining skills measure up?
We have all heard the expression, “You rarely get a second chance to make a good first impression”. This is easily applied to the meal you are about to share with your potential employer. How you behave before, during, and after the meal can tell your host something about your character, your professionalism, and your social acumen.
If you have never taken an etiquette course, there are plenty of resources online. Don’t let dining faux pas or idiosyncrasies eclipse your personality and your competence. Remember, this is a communicative business meal. The employer has read your résumé. This invitation is to find out whether or not you will be a good fit for the organization. This meal is an evaluation of your social skills, how gracefully you handle yourself under pressure and, for some roles or positions, your client/customer-facing mannerisms. The evaluation starts from the time you meet at the restaurant to the time you leave; and, how you treat everyone you meet during the meal. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t let this meal become too casual and inappropriately personal.
If you keep these general tips in mind, you will be more poised and more confident before, during and after the interview meal.
If you need assistance with interview preparation, a résumé, career self-assessment or job search contact with the WGU Career Center: http://national.careerservices.wgu.edu/
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