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Author Topic: Faux pas at interview meals  (Read 20001 times)
totoro
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« on: April 28, 2012, 3:37:44 AM »

Both the article and the comments are quite funny I think:

http://chronicle.com/blogs/onhiring/an-iced-tea-would-be-terrific/31117

"ordered chicken strips at Mexican restaurant".

As I said, only getting drunk or something would raise questions with me.
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parispundit
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2012, 4:27:34 AM »

A friend and I once developed a list of 10 commandments to cover this, but I cant remember them. Some included DO order dessert, if asked first, because eveyrone else secretly wants to and if you do that have an excuse. Do not order soup or any kind of pasta. Do not order steak if at liberal SLAC, do order steak in Montana. And so on.
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erzuliefreda
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2012, 8:48:26 AM »

Although I don't eat beef or pork, I decided not to disclose that when interviewing in the Deep South, as it might have been yet one more sign that I am "not from around here." If they had asked, I would have told them, but they didn't inquire. Our candidate dinners are hosted in individual homes... and of course... beef stroganoff was the entree. Somehow no one noticed that I just ate the noodles, and I got the job. Later, folks were very surprised that they hadn't noticed, but I am slick.

We are a very progressive department. But if a candidate were branded a vegan during the search (and she would be known, of course, as "that vegan girl from Minnesota" during deliberations, it could well amplify any sense we had of them as high maintenance, or morally superior, or any of the other negative stereotypes of vegans. I would hope it wouldn't matter, but I never say never around here.
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anisogamy
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 9:42:55 AM »

I told my elitist food snob husband about this article earlier this week.  He acknowledged that he would, in fact, judge a candidate for ordering chicken strips at a Mexican restaurant.  Good thing he's not an academic!

For what it's worth, I ordered osso bucco, and I got the job.
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cranefly
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2012, 11:29:07 AM »

Although I don't eat beef or pork, I decided not to disclose that when interviewing in the Deep South, as it might have been yet one more sign that I am "not from around here." If they had asked, I would have told them, but they didn't inquire. Our candidate dinners are hosted in individual homes... and of course... beef stroganoff was the entree. Somehow no one noticed that I just ate the noodles, and I got the job. Later, folks were very surprised that they hadn't noticed, but I am slick.

We are a very progressive department. But if a candidate were branded a vegan during the search (and she would be known, of course, as "that vegan girl from Minnesota" during deliberations, it could well amplify any sense we had of them as high maintenance, or morally superior, or any of the other negative stereotypes of vegans. I would hope it wouldn't matter, but I never say never around here.


Jesus, who serves Beef Stroganof to someone they don't know? A lot of people don't eat beef. People in interviews definitely don't want to cope with noodles.

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citrine
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2012, 11:58:35 AM »

Since our department already has a lot of people with food allergies and dietary restrictions to work around when taking candidates out, we just tell candidates that we are already trying to accommodate the different needs of people within the department and then politely ask them if there's anything they do not eat. Sometimes we ask if there's any type of cuisine that's a "favorite" of theirs that they might enjoy. (Our regional cuisine is very meat-heavy, so if a candidate says that they want to try a local specialty, it's important that we know that they'd be able to eat it!)
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pathogen
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2012, 4:38:47 PM »

It wasn't just that ordering chicken strips at a Mexican restaurant looked strange. Someone suggested in complete seriousness that ordering chicken strips at a Mexican restaurant was an avoidance of ethnic food that suggested underlying racism. That's scary.
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weathered
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 5:07:06 PM »

Is it OK not to drink when everyone drinks? I am always a non-drinker in interviews. But I sort of wonder what people think if you don't drink.
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spectacle
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 5:18:09 PM »

Is it OK not to drink when everyone drinks? I am always a non-drinker in interviews. But I sort of wonder what people think if you don't drink.

Unless people make a big deal out of it (announcing that they're in recovery or saying something snide about the fact that everyone else is drinking [yes, I've seen both of those things done]), I generally don't notice what anyone else is drinking.

Unless it's something unusual that I've never had before, which means I'll probably be ordering it myself next.

In terms of drinks, if everyone else is having beer/wine/cocktail and you want one, by all means have one (but I don't recommend MORE than one).  Otherwise, just order what you want. 

Plenty of people don't drink for a lot of different reasons. 
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oldfullprof
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 5:24:03 PM »

Wow!  I just can't imagine anyone would care about any of this (except forcing meat on a vegetarian.)
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Taste o' the Sixties
spectacle
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2012, 5:31:42 PM »

Wow!  I just can't imagine anyone would care about any of this (except forcing meat on a vegetarian.)

Most of it wouldn't phase me, but I would be freaked out if a candidate ordered a $36 entree (like in the article) if that's not what everyone else was doing.  That seems a little off to me.
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busyslinky
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2012, 5:42:51 PM »

I posted a study on here a few years ago, that showed people had a lower opinion (intellectually) of those who drank alcohol during recruiting interviews.  Even if the host offered.
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macadamia
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2012, 7:33:24 PM »

I am appalled. There are many reasons not to eat spicy food and unknown food in general.
Food allergies, common inherited sensitivity to spiciness (which hurts!), digestive problems, etc.

Not to mention the fact that I doubt that all the people who judge people who don't order Mexican food would order snails and insects to try unknown food during a job interview.

I am not impressed by the osso bucco criticism, either. Take your candidates to a restaurant that your school can afford.

(It *is* good advice to order the same kind of thing as the others, but this does not excuse the reactions.)
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totoro
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2012, 8:08:08 PM »

It just seems like a whole bunch more discrimination against people who don't match what ever stereotype the interviewers have in mind....
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glowdart
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2012, 8:25:50 PM »

"ordered chicken strips at Mexican restaurant".

I wonder if picky eater is back on the job market. 
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