Monday, 14 July 2014

Ways To Lose a Job Offer Over Lunch

How many of us have been at lunch with a colleague and almost lost lunch watching him or her eat …probably all of us?

So, to make sure that is not you, here are few ways to make sure you don’t blow the deal, blow business relationships, and blow your career – all over lunch. After all, even if you are not in an interview, and just meeting with a client, or even a colleague – you want to be remembered for your smarts and charm, not that you were raised by a pack of wolves.

So, here are  tips on what NOT to do...

Table hop 
You truly don’t look cool. You just tell your lunch companion, they’re second fiddle. It is one thing to say hi to people you know and introduce others at your table. It is another to “work the room” at the expense of those dining with you.

Talk only about yourself
You know that famous saying (maybe Donald Trump invented it) – “Now that I’ve told you about me, what do you think of me?”

Know nothing about your would-be employer
If you arrive at a table, or a meeting for that matter, and a possible employer asks, “What do you think about our business?” – and you are stumped. You are actually sunk.

Too much small talk
It is one thing to discuss world events, or a cool show like “Masters of Sex.” It is death to make that the main event. Think of the business at hand as the main course. And think of small talk as a few tastes of side dishes. It will be a much more fulfilling meal and meeting.

Finish eating before your would-be employer takes a bite
To sit down and shovel your food down in a matter of minutes is simply awkward. The other person sits with a plate of food; you sit staring at an empty plate. It tells your lunch partner that you do not know how to pace life, pace business, or notice anyone or anything around you. You finished your meal, and finished your chances to get hired.

Still be eating long after your would-be employer is finished 
It is ok not to finish at the same time. But, you don’t want to be eating forever. 

Don’t say enough
The reason you are there is for a possible employer to understand how you think, and how you would address problems and opportunities. If you can’t communicate it well enough – well, you’ve got a problem.

Say too much
Remember half of a conversation is listening. Make sure you spend half your time doing that. A key is to have some good questions prepared before you ever sit down to eat. Ask about the business, and if you can, ask about a current situation at the company. It will get your would-be boss talking. 

Hold your fork like a shovel
If you don’t know how to hold a fork, you’re done.

Offer to pick up the check
You are not the host, and it is not your job to change the balance of power at the table. Be a gracious guest.

Arrive more than 5 minutes late
There are times to be fashionably late. This is not one of them.

Forget to arrive 
If you don't show up, you're cooked. You knew that.

Forget to say thank you
Better yet, say thank you and follow up with a short thank you note.

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