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You just got a call for an interview at your dream employer. You assume the interview will take place at their office, but when you inquire about the address you’re told the hiring manager wants to meet at a local restaurant instead.

The question is: Is an interview off-site any different from one on-site?

As one of the top employment firms in Phoenix, PrideStaff can tell you that it is different, only in that there are a few unique and potentially awkward situations you’ll have to deal with (for example, “who pays for lunch?”).

Here are some tips to help you ace your off-site interview:

Wear a suit.

If you’re interviewing in an office, a suit is a no-brainer. But what about a more casual setting, like a diner? Still wear a suit. Just because you’re not interviewing at the employer’s location doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow proper interview protocol. You want to appear both polished and professional. Wearing a suit will help you do that.

Find a photo of your interviewer online.

Don’t know what your interviewer looks like? Try to find a picture or headshot of him or her online, such as on a site like LinkedIn or on the company’s Employee Bios web page. That way, you can walk into the interview location and easily find the person you’re interviewing with…rather than just wandering around awkwardly. If you can’t find a picture of the person, simply give them a heads up about what you’ll be wearing. For instance, “I’ll be in a black suit and blue shirt.”

Be strategic about the seat you pick.

If you arrive ahead of the interviewer, then carefully consider the spot you pick. You want to find a place that you’re going to be most comfortable in and that offers enough privacy.

Don’t order anything messy.

Think ahead about what you’re ordering. If you’re going to a restaurant for lunch, skip the spaghetti and meatballs and instead go with a sandwich or salad. If your interview is at a coffee shop, order a regular coffee rather than a foamy latte.

Let the interviewer pay.

If you’re going to a coffee shop and just ordering drinks, you can avoid the “who pays?” moment if you arrive ahead of the interviewer. However, if that’s not the case, the interviewer should be offering to pay for the meal or drink. After all, he or she is the one who invited you for the interview.

Be polite.

Wherever you do go for the interview, be polite to the staff who work there. If you treat them with indifference or disdain, that might signal arrogance to the person interviewing you. Also, clean up after yourself, don’t talk with your mouth full, use your napkin and sit up straight.

Need more advice on landing your next job? Turn to the professionals at PrideStaff. As one of the top employment firms in Phoenix, we can help you with the entire job search process, from writing a resume that gets results to connecting you with rewarding opportunities that aren’t always advertised.

Contact PrideStaff today to learn more about how we can help you.

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