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It's Never "Just Lunch"

It's Never "Just Lunch"

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With more and more business and interviewing taking place over lunch these days, I thought it made sense to take a moment or two to run through the do’s and don’ts for being an effective guest in these situations because, despite what the dating service may say, it’s never “just lunch.”

If the restaurant is unknown to you and an advance reconnaissance is possible, you will want to stop by the restaurant beforehand to check whether the parking is readily available nearby, or if you will need to allow time to look for a space or possibly walk a few minutes from your car to the restaurant. If this isn’t possible, you will want to research the restaurant on-line before you arrive.

You will want to be on time.

You will want to have allowed time to use the bathroom prior to your scheduled meeting time, if that’s necessary. [I know it seems mad that I have to write this down, but I can’t tell you how many people arrive at lunch meetings and leave me at the table for the first ten minutes while they go to the bathroom.]

You will want to follow your host’s lead regarding whether or not he or she wants to dive right into a business conversation. I prefer to allow a bit of time before getting into “why we’re here today.” You will, of course, have done advance prep on your host’s interests/hobbies so this small talk time will be meaningful. If that hasn’t been possible, and the answer isn’t immediately apparent—i.e., it’s the only game in town, or it has a five star reputation-- ask why your host chose the restaurant. Is it a favorite? Is there something he or she would recommend? Have they taken trips to its country of origin? [Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, Brazil…? You get the idea.]

 

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