An employer once phoned me to complain about a client who opened a jumbo bag of chips at an interview, and he began to snack. “He didn’t even offer any to me. He just shovelled them down the shoot.”

 I tried to say that the client must have been under a lot of stress. Then I remembered he had was diabetic and eats often to avoid a physiological catastrophe.

 If I am being interviewed, I hope that I don’t have to tie on the old feed bag. Interviews are stressful enough without having to worry about whether the fork is supposed to be held tine side up or down. Unfortunately, many employers like to see how one can handle themselves under pressure. An interview can be viewed as a blind date, and your employer may want to see whether you can cut the mustard without cutting the cheese.

 I am a veteran of a interviews where food was involved. One involved a tablecloth caught in my fly, one involved beer spewing out my nose, and another involved spaghetti. These calamities qualify me as somewhat of an expert on interview dining.  If you are called for a lunchtime interview here are some tips:

  • Check out the restaurant ahead of time. Find the restrooms, price the menu items so you don’t order the most expensive items (Strike One)
  • Say please and thank you to everyone – including the servers
  • Don’t order food that will make a mess – for example gyros or spaghetti. (Strike Two)
  • Don’t order food that you will choke on – especially when answering the question “… tell me a little bit about yourself. Save that for your date.
  • Put your napkin on your lap (not under your chin), keep your elbows off the table, and don’t talk with your mouth full.
  • After the meal, relax. Turn the interview into a friendly conversation about yourself, the employer, and the company. Show off your problem solving and communication skills that you bragged about in your resume.
  • Say thank you, and WRITE A THANK YOU NOTE if you want the job (A Grand Slam.)


Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He also does some work as a field Archaeologist. He is also a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine, and the proprietor of The Résumé Doctor in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at  michael_broderick@telus.net or at michaelb@neilsquire.ca.

If you’re looking for a change, start with a resume makeover at competitive rates

When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia


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