Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 10 – The Interview Lunch

The Luncheon Interview


 “The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork.” 
~Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde's quotation is a metaphor for the choices he made. Its meaning for you is although you've made it this far, all can be forfeited if you fail the final test that many employers require: a demonstration of your table manners. Many positions require attendance at meetings and events that involve dining; exhibiting top-notch table manners proves that you can be trusted to represent the company well. In a close race, the smallest details can reveal the victor.

Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 1 – Types of Interviews

Types of Interviews

“Besides getting several paper cuts in the same day or receiving the news that someone in your family has betrayed you to your enemies, one of the most unpleasant experiences in life is a job interview.” ~Lemony Snicket

It is my hope that Mr. Snicket will read the next few blog posts along with you so that he, too, might gain some snippets of advice that will help smooth the way to the job interview process. 

Let's start by taking a look at the various types of interviews you can expect to come across: 

Dining Etiquette Series – Dessert, At Last!

Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.
Ernestine Ulmer, 1892-1987

No doubt many people will agree with this famous quote. But, in the formal multi-course dinner, dessert is the last course, at least in the U.S. In European, and European-influenced, countries you might find that the dessert course is followed by a fruit course to finish the dinner with a refreshing palate cleanser, and then followed by coffee and a sweet (more about the “coffee course” next week). But, in most cases, dessert will be the sweet finale to a luncheon or dinner. 

Dining Etiquette Series – Fruit & Cheese Course

"Digestive cheese, and fruit there sure will bee...”
Inviting a Friend to Supper
by Ben Jonson

The course that follows the main course, which I talked about in last week’s entry, sometimes consists of fruit and cheese. However, this custom varies among chefs, event planners, hosts, restaurants and countries. In some cases, the cheese might stand alone! For example, as cheese is a digestive, it might follow the main course, followed by the dessert course, which might be followed by a small serving of fresh fruit to end with something refreshing and palate cleansing. This custom, however, is rare in the U.S., where a formal meal is likely to end with dessert. 

Dining Etiquette Series – The Appetizer Course 2

Civilization has taught us to eat with a fork,
but even now if nobody is around we use our fingers.
~ Will Rogers (1879-1935)

The late great Will Rogers would no doubt have appreciated an appetizer served as a formal, or informal, dinner course that he could have eaten with his fingers!

Following are three favorites that are commonly served as an appetizer course, along with information on how you can expect them to be served.

Dining Etiquette Series – Napkin Etiquette

“When the candidate sat down, he did not remove
the table napkin throughout the entire lunch.” 

A number of years ago, Seattle Times business reporter Stanley Holmes wrote an article on the importance of business etiquette, and he included this example: “A comptroller at a big company was instructed to take a job candidate to a lunch and offer him a $100,000 public relations job. The candidate had won the job but did not yet know it. When the candidate sat down, he did not remove the table napkin throughout the entire lunch. He was not offered the position. The comptroller reasoned that the man had no business serving as the company's public relations manager if he did not have the basic elements of table etiquette down.”

Today, employers are sitting down with job candidates at meals much more frequently in order to assess their dining etiquette skills. So that you don’t miss an opportunity because of a mishandled napkin, this week’s post is devoted to important etiquette topic.