Let’s say you find yourself in a situation where a meal is a part of your interview process – you’d better believe you’ll be evaluated during this time.  Going out to eat can turn an interview into a dangerous situation.

Here are three general rules to follow when meeting clients or prospective employers for a meal:

  1. NO ALCOHOL! Do not drink alcohol, even if told it is okay by the person you are meeting with. If the person insists, it is recommended you only have one glass of wine or beer and stay away from the hard liquor.
  2. No sloppy foods. Avoid foods that stain (i.e., spaghetti, meatball sandwiches, ribs, etc.) and, basically, anything that takes more than one napkin. Remember Murphy’s Law—anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the worst possible moment. It’s just not worth the risk.
  3. Redeem the time. Meeting a hiring manager for a meal is 50 percent business and 50 percent just getting to know you. Take advantage of the time to learn about the city, schools, industry, and company culture.

Also, another important tip: turn off your cellphone! If your cellphone rings during an interview, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Leave it in the car or turn it to silent—not buzz.

What more advice on how to nail your interview process?  www.theexecutiveleap.com for more information.