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Briyahna Rice
Noodle Expert Member

March 05, 2020

How to ace an important meeting over a simple meal.

In college, students are given a whole plethora of knowledge and skillsets in their major that are needed in order to get a job once they graduate. This includes acing job interviews and regularly updating their resumes. But one skillset that often gets overlooked is how best to enjoy a meal with a future boss without coming across as sloppy, cheap, or even wasteful.

A regular face to face job interview sitting in front of a desk is one thing, but talking over a meal is another matter entire because it gives potential employers the chance to see students in a different setting. But that doesn't mean students should go about eating a meal like they would at home. They need to be prepared to ace it just as they would their initial job interview. With as much practice and knowledge as possible. To start, research the restaurant before hand and check out the menu for their selections and prices. This way, when students arrive and are seated at the able, they're not confused or unsure about what they may, or may not want to eat. Also, they won't be scared away by the prices. In a like manner, when the bill arrives, students can offer to help split it as a show of generosity. But, if the person who sent out the dinner invitation decides to pay, then students are more than welcome to leave a tip for the server. Similarly, students shouldn't order anything that's too inexpensive or expensive so as not to come off as either a cheapskate or a spendthrift; especially if they were invited out to eat.

Likewise, with regards to food, if students have a food related allergy or dietary restrictions that prevent them from eating specific dishes, or have them picking it apart, this should be brought to the attention of whoever has sent the invitation so that they can understand and take this into account. The last thing a student wants to do is to come off as picky, or wasteful, and give their dishes back to the waiter every five minutes. Then, when it comes to the food itself, be sure not to order anything that's messy, liable to be spilled, or makes a smacking sound when being eaten. This includes soups, sauce covered ribs, and even chicken wings. Moving onto table talk, students should avoid any topics that are considered hot button, or sensitive. This includes money, politics, and even climate change. But things like sports, music, and entertainment are more than okay to discuss over a meal, or just waiting for it to arrive.

Overall, while talks over meals doesn't seem as stuffy or formal as a typical inhouse job interview, they're not an excuse for students to shed their skin and eat as though they're starving and completely stuff their faces. Just like with regular interviews, there are rules and guidelines in place to insure that when students walk out, they're not just well fed, but assured of the fact that they gave nothing but their best.

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