I have recently been invited back to a third interview with a company. This is a lunch interview with the CFO supervisor and an IT consultant. I had previously met with the CFO and supervisor for the second interview. What could this mean? Is it a good sign? Do they want the IT consultant to interview me by asking IT-related questions? Are they really close to making a decision? Am I in really good standing for the position? Will they make me an offer at this location?
The Career Doctor responds:
From what you've written I would say you are in great shape — and yes I would expect an offer to be forthcoming either at the lunch or shortly thereafter. With job-hunting the toughness of job interviews often goes in inverse relation to the order. Thus the first interviews are usually the hardest where you can expect to be grilled asked to take various psychological tests sit before a panel of interviewers even given a case you are asked to solve. But once you get to the later interviews especially revolving around a meal and especially with the same people you have already interviewed with it now becomes more of a question of fit. Does this job-seeker have the personality to excel in our culture? And I am assuming the consultant is there not to grill you but to meet with you.
The key to this interview is all about fit. You still need to be in job-seeking mode but allow some aspects of your personality to show. Enjoy yourself — but be sure to follow the rules of dining etiquette.
These rules or protocols should guide a job-seeker's conduct. Some people call these rules good manners but more refer to them as business etiquette. By adhering to proper etiquette a job-seeker can gain a perceptual edge over other job-seekers that can lead to a job offer.
Dining etiquette is all about knowing all aspects of table manners (napkins silverware glasses plates) as well as having ordering savvy. I don't think a job-seeker who uses his salad fork for the main meal would not get hired but someone who orders something messy like ribs and eats like a pig might lose the offer.
Check out all the etiquette resources offered in this section of Quintessential Careers:
Job-Hunting & Business Etiquette Resources.