Recently, someone visiting our home did not want to try my macaroni salad. It really is the best macaroni salad ever, passed down from a dear friend who has been part of our family for over 40 years. When I offered the macaroni salad and was told, “I don’t like it” my immediate response was “how do you know you don’t like it when you haven’t tried it?” Ok, ok, I’ll give this person a break…it was an eight year old and children can be picky eaters. I was a little put off that the parents around the table didn’t explain the value of trying a new food. I understand how children build walls and parents reinforce those walls rather than help break them down so the child can grow. So, I’ll blame not trying my macaroni salad on the parents rather than the child and leave it at that.
Yesterday, I had a client meeting over dinner. My client asked me to pass the salt and pepper as soon as her meal was placed in front of her. Since this was a working dinner, I kindly explained how turned off I would be if I were interviewing her for a job over dinner. She looked shocked and then I explained. It has been said that Henry Ford used to take job candidates out for a meal. If they seasoned their food before they tasted it, he did not hire them. They were forming an opinion about something prior to learning more about it. What a simple, yet brilliant way in weeding out job candidates!
Yes, we may be judged by the way we interact during a meal…turning our nose up at certain foods, talking with food in our mouth, elbows on the table, not saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, etc.
Interviews can occur over a meal and can be very telling of you – your professionalism, social skills (manners), communication skills, and more. If you are invited to an interview over breakfast, lunch, or dinner, keep these things in mind: