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Least Favorite Job Search Phase
Food for Thought Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

Interviewing for a job will rattle your nerves more than delivering a presentation in front of 10,000 of your peers. It is for that reason that I recommend you avoid any possible interactions with any of the five food groups during these stressful encounters.

A good friend of mine tells a story about his son, who I will call Bob, who interviewed at a famous company for an entry level job right out of college. After the interview, the hiring manager brought out a large box of donuts and asked Bob "would you like some donuts?" Bob had been interviewing for several hours and by this point was quite hungry. Bob was in luck as his favorite, a powdered sugar donut, was among the many choices.

Now, while you may expect this story to end with Bob's nice new suit covered in powdered sugar, Bob must have been hungry because he took the entire box, thanked the hiring manager and left. Needless to say, Bob wasn't invited back next week on donut Mondays or any other day for that matter.

Another no-no during an interview is coffee or tea. As enjoyable as it sounds to have a cup of caffeine with you as you stroll down the halls from interview to interview trying to stay awake, just think of how it will look when your coffee lands on your nice white shirt,  your newly pressed pants, or on your interviewer. Stick with H2O instead. At least it doesn’t stain. And bring your own in case no one offers it to you.

If you are invited to an interview over lunch or dinner, consider yourself lucky because you are clearly a top candidate. To practice for the interview, have dinner with a networking buddy and ask them to mock interview you. Ask your friend to evaluate whether you will be evaluated as a neat eater, a closed-mouthed chewer, and a non-elbow-leaning conversationalist. Only if and when you have perfected the art of eating when under pressure, schedule the interview. Avoid ordering finger foods or anything where messiness comes into play. Also try not to over order or over eat. Take your cues from your interviewer.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Interviews are stressful enough without having to concern yourself with eating proper portions from each of the five food groups. Eat a big meal beforehand so that you are not even tempted to partake in items offered to you, some of which can lead to interviewing disasters. Then, when the interview is over, run to the nearest ice cream parlor and enjoy a heaping bowl with whipped cream and a cherry as you celebrate your successful day!
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!