Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Never Bring Coffee On An Interview (Part III) – Especially To A Restaurant

I have posted several times about not bringing coffee to an interview at someone’s office.  My premise is simple, if it turns off only 5% of the interviewers, then why take a chance?  A couple of weeks ago I came to a new realization – people actually bring coffee into restaurant while interviewing.                                       

I met a friend at Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel, which is a great place for breakfast and a very good place for interviewing since the tables are reasonably spaced.  I was early so I was chatting with the maitre d’.  I noticed a gentleman sitting at a table with a Starbucks coffee cup.  I couldn’t believe that someone would actually bring their own coffee into a restaurant.  I remarked about it to the gentleman I was chatting with.  He then told me that what surprised him most was the huge number of people who brought coffee into the restaurant while obviously being interviewed for a job.  I was blown away by this realization.

It is one thing to bring coffee into someone’s office, and while I don’t approve, it is relatively harmless.  However, bringing coffee into a restaurant interview is not only rude, it is an outrageous.  After all, that is how a restaurant makes its money.

As a result of that encounter, I have been taking a quick survey at restaurants which are open for breakfast and asked about the frequency of this.  To my shock and dismay, I find out it is very common.  One hostess told me that on any given morning, I would find half a dozen people with their own coffee, many of them on interviews.  Yiikes.

I can only believe that the rudeness in unintentional – people are so used to their morning routine of buying coffee on the way to the office, that when they go to a restaurant, it never crosses their mind not to buy and bring coffee into the restaurant.  Mostly, I believe that they don’t even realize that they have done so because it is so much a part of their routine.

I can’t think of a faster way to blow an interview. If the candidate is unaware that bringing coffee is a no-no,  I guaranty that whoever is interviewing them is aware of the brought coffee.  If bringing coffee into someone’s office turns off 5% of the people, bringing it into a restaurant has to offend 95%.  If I were in human resources or was a hiring manager, I would never hire anyone who is that unthinking about their environment, no matter how inadvertent it is.

1 comment:

  1. This is the ultimate self-esteem corrector. Thank you for your post; it is a very important distinction

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