Beware the Social Interview
It usually begins as a seemingly innocent invitation. An employee is asked to join a group of his or her co-workers for lunch. The invitee eagerly accepts, unaware there may be something lurking behind the scenes. Indeed, this lunchtime event has all the earmarks of what I term a ‘social interview’. A social interview need not be restricted to lunch, of course. This covert operation can take place over breakfast, brunch, drinks, and everything in between.
Make no mistake about it. No matter how relaxed the get-together appears on the surface, a social interview is an interview in the fullest sense of the term. As novices in the corporate environment, Millennials in particular must be on full alert if invited to one of these events. This goes triple if alcoholic beverages are on the menu.
Fortunately, Millennials can take advantage of certain precautionary measures in order to emerge from the social interview unscathed. I recommend the following for the best results:
- Interviewees should limit alcoholic consumption to a single drink, sipped not guzzled. And they must NEVER go into the snake pit on an empty stomach. Eating something beforehand is mandatory in order to maximize alcohol absorption and therefore level-headedness.
- If the meal topics veer from work affairs to more personal subjects, an interviewee must maintain strict control over the subject matter. General topics such as sports and weather are safe bets. Delving into more personal territory could be and often is disastrous.
- Since the get-together is a social occasion of sorts, interviewees should strive to create a two-way street with all in attendance. For Millennials or anyone else in the hot seat, asking questions to get the others talking is an excellent tactic for building a bond and creating a favorable impression. After all, most of us eagerly welcome the opportunity to be heard.
These proven guidelines are the main ingredients of social interview success. For more information on how Millennials make the most of a social interview, or about any other topic of interest to young people entering the workforce, be sure to leave a message or inquiry in the comment box. Or simply contact our team at
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