5 Essential Attributes You Can Learn About Candidates over Lunch

There is quite some flexibility and aptitude to how job interviews are conducted today to the norm some years back. Small companies may lack enough space to carry out quality interviews, or in some occasions, an employer may decide to conduct off-site interviews to evaluate a candidate in a more natural and relaxed environment more closely. Lunch interviews are recommended when interviewing candidates for a job and especially where there is client interaction. The primary purpose of this is to evaluate their social skills and to assess how candidates behave under pressure. You can look out for the following attributes.

Ideal Attributes to Look For When Interviewing  Candidates

The Efficient One

This is the candidate who eats quickly and cleans the plate before the rest of the table has finished their meal. This is the kind of employee who will get things done before the deadline.  They also typically choose their food quicker from the menu and usually make quicker and more timely decisions. They are also very competitive and good at multitasking. This employee is usually ahead of everyone else, making them quite an asset to any employer.

The Perfectionist

This candidate will eat more slowly and take their time to enjoy a meal and are in no rush to finish it.  In the work environment, they will ensure that things are done properly and meticulously. They seem to lack an internal clock, which can get on people’s nerves. Therefore a balance is necessary to be able to achieve more and avoid rigidity.

The Organizer

This is the one who loves to keep things neat and tidy on their plate. As great administrators, they apply their organization skills in all aspects of their lives, both at home and in their work environments. At work, they plan and keep track of everything and have everything run like a well-oiled machine. However, this kind of person may be prone to stress when things don’t go as per schedule. They, therefore, need a certain level of compromise and flexibility to be able to strike a balance.

The Risk Taker

This is the candidate who could order a more expensive item on the menu or a beer if the interviewer also orders a beer. This individual demonstrates they are willing to step outside their comfort zone and able to learn quickly. They are risk takers. At work, they never shy away from introducing new and bold ideas. They are quite outgoing and make friends easily.  Their outlook and approach to life is enviable to many and makes them achieve what others can only imagine. However, taking too much risk can also be a problem.

The Free Spirit

This is a candidate who can order something messy or difficult to eat just because they like it. They are outgoing individuals who don’t get preoccupied with what others think about them, however, are able to accept constructive criticism. They dance to their own rhythm which is a quality that is admired by many. At work, they aren’t afraid to say what exactly is on their mind and therefore are assertive and are able to achieve what they want.  

With a lunch interview, you are able to assess a potential employee beyond the resume. You evaluate personality and behavioral traits firsthand. Observe if the candidate adds salt to their food without having tasted it first. This could reflect poor decision-making skills. Observe if they are polite to restaurant staff or if they have good table manners. This is a good measure of respect and good judgment. Does a candidate check his phone constantly or doesn’t turn it off? Such an interview helps a manager gauge if a potential employee is suited for a particular role and how they will perform. Candidates not suitable for the role can also be eliminated faster. This mode of interviewing is considered better than written personality tests, as candidates give answers that are socially acceptable to please the interviewer. A lunch interview wins over an on-site interview when good interpersonal and social skills are imperative to the performance of a job. So please, before hiring anyone, consider taking them out to lunch first.

Should you want additional guidance about executive search, job placement and recruitment opportunities worldwide, don’t hesitate to get hold of us at: http://www.bipsearch.com, or email us at: barbachano@bipsearch.com.

Written by:

Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

CEO & Founder of Barbachano International (BIP) the Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America and the USA offering high impact executive search, executive coaching and outplacement. Directly and through our partners we have offices in Mexico, USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Our corporate offices are in San Diego, California. Phone: 619-427-2310.