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Lunch Interviews, Dinners, and Retreats

Act Professional

A growing numbers of firms invite candidates for breakfast, lunch, or dinner interviews. The idea behind these interviews is for attorneys to get to know the candidates and to share insights about the firm. Because these interviews seem so relaxing, they often give young lawyers an unusual surge of confidence. Nevertheless, certain basic rules of conduct apply.

Do not do or say anything foolish (getting drunk or hitting on someone are good examples). Do not act like this is the first all-expense-paid fancy dinner you have ever attended, even if it is. Do not overeat, and shy away from the most expensive items on the menu. Additionally, do not treat dinner interviews as a date or a social call.

During his dinner interview, Luke, a 3L, tried unsuccessfully to hit on his female interviewer. Upon discovering she was not interested, Luke switched to flirting with some women at a nearby table. Proudly proclaiming himself to be a “corporate lawyer,” he bought shots for the ladies and gulped down several drinks. He spent the remainder of the firm dinner making out with his new “date,” right in front of his interviewers.

It is easy to relax, get too casual, and feel at the top of your game when someone is paying for your meal at a nice restaurant and you have had a few drinks. Do not forget that you are attending a job interview! The firm is providing you with a free dinner, not with a complimentary dating service.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesLaw Job InterviewsLunch Interviews, Dinners, and Retreats - Act Professional, Never Let Your Guard Down, What To Order?, Table Manners, Basic Etiquette