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NextGen Magazine


Food for Thought: Dining as a Professional Tool

Jason Wong
Published Date:
Apr 6, 2016

Lunch MeetingIn the business world, some of the biggest meetings and interviews are conducted over a meal. A dining interview is as much a test of you as a traditional one would be – it answers questions about your social skills before the company invests in you. And if you’re the one asking for the lunch meeting, it’s equally important that you come off as professional. Here are a few things to bear in mind from Inc on how to handle yourself at the table:

You’re not there to eat. Contrary to what you might expect, a lunch meeting isn’t a time for you to chow down. Consider having a small snack beforehand so you’re not tempted to overindulge. Also, don’t order anything that will be difficult to eat or leave you with sticky hands or stinky breath.

Time yourself. The business portion of the meeting should conclude before the main course arrives. Pace yourself so that you don’t finish eating well before or well after your table mate.

Location, location, location. Like in real estate, location is essential. If you’re requesting the lunch meeting, be sure that the table you choose is out of high traffic areas, and make sure the table is sufficiently large to place any relevant documents on for easy perusal.

Pay in advance. If you’re hosting, take care of the bill before your guest arrives, and be sure to tip generously.