Career: The Interview Dining Etiquette Guide

If you succeed through the first two at-the-office interviews and are invited to an “eating meeting,” you are under strong contemplation and must impress the potential employers with your graceful social skills. The interviewers already envision you excelling at the job but just want to confirm you can handle any situation with the proper etiquette. Interview dining etiquette is comprised of the following three essential sections: before, during and after.

Follow these simple tips below to finally and charmingly land your dream job while devouring crab cakes and bruschetta.


  • Confirm the reservation, which includes both the restaurant and time.
  • Look at the restaurant's website to pre-decide on a few meal options.
  • Dress professionally, even if the restaurant is not formal. Remember, you are there for a job.
  • Rehearse common interview questions and answers to appear more natural.
  • Know the company’s culture, facts, branches, history, etc.
  • Brush up on important news events from a variety of sources, as this often acts as opening chit-chat.
  • Turn off your phone or silence it until you leave the restaurant.
  • Arrive early and wait in the lobby, not at the bar.


  • Wait until everyone in your lunch party is seated to open your napkin and place it on your lap.
  • Be polite to your server and always use “please and thank you.” How you treat the help speaks volumes about your character.
  • Instead of alcohol, order some sparkling water and sip it from the glass.
  • Order an easy-to-eat entree using your utensils. Never order the cheapest or the most expensive meal; when in doubt doubt follow the interviewer’s lead.
  • Skip the sweets unless the interviewer strongly suggests you try a specific dessert.
  • Graciously express your thanks for the scrumptious meal and leave with a professional tone.


  • Send a thank you card 24 hours post-meal. Be sure to include key references from the interview and restate why you are the ideal candidate for the position.
  • If sending a physical card, make sure to choose one that is classy and professional, like the one above (these black and cream thank you cards).

These tips will help distinguish you as the most polished and refined candidate. Do not stress, do your research and be on your best manners the entire time. Good luck!

By: Claire Walton | Image: Source

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