can I invite my interviewer to lunch so we can connect on a more personal level?

A reader writes:

A few days ago, I interviewed at a company that I’m really interested in. You can say that I very much want this job. My background, experience, and degree make me an ideal candidate for the position, but the downside is that I’ve been unemployed for about 9 months due to being laid off.

The interview was just a first round with the hiring manager. The interview was pretty average, all things considered, since it was my first interview since my last job (two years). I didn’t do too poorly but I didn’t wow him either. I was able to answer all questions fairly well, but looking back it all felt very robotic and unnatural. To my chagrin, at the end of the interview I was given the typical HR double speak: “It’s still early in the hiring process and that you should expect a call from us within the next few weeks.” I thanked him for his time, asked for his business card, and followed up the next day with a thank-you email reiterating my interest and strengths.

In interviews I notice I tend to automatically revert to putting on this “professional demeanor” in an attempt to appeal to the interviewer. It’s likely doing me more harm than good as I end up blending in with my competition. My goal was to be more personable and be able to interact with the interviewer as if he was a friend, which would be more memorable/likeable.

So my question is would it be weird if I asked the interviewer to an informal lunch? I guess what I’m trying to achieve is to try to connect on a personal level outside of an interview environment. How weird would that be and do you think it would help? I’m trying to think outside the box because I’m really interested in working in this position at the company.

Don’t do that.

It’s likely to come across as trying to circumvent the employer’s hiring process. At this point, things are in their court. They’re talking to other candidates, and then they’ll decide who they’re interested in talking again. It’s really up to them to decide from this point if they’d like to invite you to have further conversations (and, when they do, if they’d like it to be over lunch or not).

It sounds like you’re almost trying to switch to a more networking-type relationship, but you can’t really do that mid-interview-process. At this point, you’re in their process, and you really just need to wait and see if they want to move forward with further conversations or not. (There are contexts where doing that might not feel inappropriate. If you’re a senior level candidate with in-demand skills, you can often operate more like a consultant than a job candidate — proposing next steps and so forth. But that doesn’t sound like the context here, and isn’t the context for most people.)

I think you’re right to identify that having a relaxed, less stiff demeanor (to a point) can help you give a better interview. It’s not you want to interact with the interviewer as a friend, though — you’re not friends. It’s that you want to interact the way you would with a colleague who you’d been working with for a while. You want your interviewer to be able to picture you as a colleague, and taking that approach to the interview will usually make it a warmer, more relaxed conversation. If you’re coming across as stiff, interviewers might be left feeling like they don’t have a good sense of who you really are and what you’d be like to work with.

But the time to do that is in the interview itself. As much as you might like to, you can’t really reach out to set up another meeting outside that context.

{ 65 comments… read them below }

  1. hayling*

    I’d just chalk this interview up to practice, and try to be more personable in future interviews.

    Then again who knows they might still be interested in you. The “doublespeak” is just neutral language.

    Either way, follow Alison’s standard advice of “act like you aren’t going to get this job, move on, and keep applying.”

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes about that not being double-speak! “It’s still early in the hiring process and you should expect a call from us within the next few weeks” means, basically, that’s it’s still early in the hiring process and you won’t be hearing anything for at least a few weeks. That’s really it.

      1. Steve G*

        Fortunately I am noticing in this job search (last one was 5yrs ago) that a lot more companies have software you can log into to check the status of your application. Not that you can see too many details, but at least with the ones using jobvite, you can see “new” “in process” or “declined.” I saw recently in one company’s proprietary site that my status went from “submitted” to “under consideration” after 3 weeks. So you can’t see huge amounts of detail, but it sure beats just sending the apps in and never hearing anything again.

        1. Ops Ananlyst*

          Oh, I love this too, but sometimes it hurts! I recently went through an interview process with a company that uses jobvite and after completing an hour long assignment as one stage of the interview, they closed my application and never even bothered to notify me or reject me!

          1. Lily in NYC*

            Oh my god, if I reject someone internally (rejected by hiring manager) on jobvite, can a candidate see that? I don’t mean the reject button that allows you to send “thanks but no thanks” email, there’s another one that I thought (hoped) was only internal. .

            1. Ops Analyst*

              I’ve only seen it say “in process” and “closed”, never “rejected”. Though, I suppose that is the same thing. While I do wish I got an actual rejection from every job I every applied to and was turned down for, it doesn’t bother me as much to see my application closed unless I have been in the interview process. If no contact has been made its annoying but I don’t think too ill of the employer.

            2. Ops Analyst*

              I’ve never used it internally so I guess I don’t really know what the hiring manager is actually clicking before I see it as “closed”.

              Maybe set up a fake applicant and apply so you can see what happens?

              1. Connie-Lynne*

                Jobvite, at least our installation of it, has “decline” and “decline with notice.”

                Our recruiting workflow only allows “decline with notice” once a candidate has been contacted. I’m guessing when you see apps go straight to closed, someone declined too move you into the workflow at all.

      2. Ops Ananlyst*

        I always kind of assumed that when they give a really vague next steps that means they are not particularly interested. When I hear “very early in the hiring process” and “we will be in touch eventually” I hear “we haven’t made any final decisions but you also didn’t wow us enough that we feel any farther along in the interview process after speaking with you”.

        I know there are no hard and fast rules, but in my experience there is usually a specific process that employers are open to (and interested in) sharing with top candidates. I’ve never left a first interview where I was still a contender without hearing that the next step is X and here is is how we expect that to go. When I haven’t heard that, I haven’t moved on.

        1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec*

          I would not assume that at all. Like others mentioned below, I always give the same vague timeline to every candidate because:
          1. If there’s a second interviewer, I want to hear their input before deciding on anything.
          2. I’m probably interviewing a bunch of people, and no matter how great you are, it’s possible there will be several others who are better
          3. , I’m not assessing each candidate in a vacuum. I have interviewed people who totally wowed me, but they were wrong for that particular job. Also, I know that I generally can’t get everything I want, so I have to compare what each candidate lacks and what each on brings, and decide what is the best combination for the job, the team, and the organization.
          4. Interviews often fall low on my priority list on balance with other tasks. I give a longer and more general timeline so I don’t create false expectations. I truly have no idea when I’ll get though the current phase. When I give an unrealistic timeline candidates start following up and it takes a lot of time to reply.
          5. Sometimes we learn something in the interview process that changes what we’re looking at most closely.

          1. Ops Analyst*

            Sure, but I wasn’t really speaking about length of time as much as I was speaking about the actual steps in the process. Interviewers tend to be significantly more vague about the steps when they aren’t sure about the candidate and significantly more open about the steps that they do know when they are sure about the candidate. And I don’t mean sure as in sure they will be hired, but sure that they are strong, someone they want to keep in mind or someone they want to keep interested in the job. I’ve rarely heard stories of top candidates being kept completely in the dark. I think it’s rare when an interviewer doesn’t give them some idea of where they stand and a glimpse of how the process is going to go. I think its a lot more likely that if they are ultra vague they are either unsure whether the person is actually a strong candidate or sure that they aren’t.

            1. Marcy*

              I say the same thing about next steps and giving a bit of a vague timeline to all the applicants I interview. I don’t have a clue how long HR will take to do their thing and it always seems to take at least two weeks beyond what I think it would take so I just don’t guess. I would not assume you are out of the running because you didn’t get more information.

              1. Ops Analyst*

                Again, it wasn’t about how long it takes, but what the actual next step is. I’ve never held an employer to vague timelines, or any timeline for that matter. I get there’s no telling. But typically if I’m not even told what the next step is (regardless of when that step will happen) I don’t move on. When I have moved on I have been told what my expectations should be for the next round.

                For example, “the next step is an interview with the CEO” or “the next step is to complete a test case” or “we’re planning to make a decision after we are done with this round of interviews”. None of those examples include a timeframe. If I don’t hear something like that and just hear “we’ll be in touch regarding next steps” without them telling me what the actual next step is, I haven’t moved on. When I’m still in the running I’ve always been given details about the steps of the process, even when they don’t know how long the process will take.

    2. Clever Name*

      I came here to say the same thing. I interviewed several entry level candidates recently, and one of the candidates (who we eventually hired) asked about the timeline. Since I was not the person driving the hiring process, I really had no clue what our timeline is, so I said something along the lines of what the OP’s interviewer said. It wasn’t double-speak, but it did seem more professional than, “I have no idea; I’m just interviewing you”.

      1. Dan*

        This is one of those weird things where I’m not sure which is more important — “professionalism” or “the truth.” While seasoned job seekers pretty much know that employers almost never follow up in a couple of weeks, the statement creates false expectations, even more so if you actually don’t know the timeline.

        In your shoes, I probably would have went with “XXX would be a better person to answer that question.”

        1. Paul*

          I think the answer is unimportant enough that it’s fine to gloss over it with something more professional if generic – basically “you’ll hear from us within the next couple of weeks.” Normally I don’t mind admitting when I don’t know the answer, but this is a situation where it’s okay to save face and tell them what they want to hear.

    3. fposte*

      It’s also not a sign of anything about the candidate–that’s the response we give everybody. The OP seems to be reading it as a sign the interview didn’t go that well, but there’s no reason to feel chagrin at this.

      1. JB*

        Exactly. At an old job long ago, when I did the initial interviewing for many positions at my employer, this is what we told everyone.

  2. TCO*

    OP, just because you got the standard “we’ll be in touch line” doesn’t mean you bombed the interview. They’re just telling you their process; don’t read anything more into it. You might have done perfectly fine.

    It sounds like this process has been (understandably) nerve-wracking for you, so you’re trying to cope by overthinking and reading too much into your interviewer’s reaction and process. It might help to do some practice interviews with friends or mentors. If you feel confident with your answers, you’ll naturally come across as more warm, collegial, and confident. That’s the way to break down those formality barriers–not by asking your interviewer out to lunch. Best of luck to you!

    1. some1*

      And some *people* just aren’t super warm or enthusiastic in general. One of the best bosses I ever had came off a little distant in my interview with her, but that’s how she is. She isn’t rude or mean or lacking a sense of humor, but you wouldn’t describe her as “bubbly” by any means.

      1. TCO*

        Great point. I tend to have a pretty good gut sense of whether or not I clicked with an interview and would want to work with/for them. But there’s a big difference between “warm, open, and friendly” and “good boss.” Sometimes they overlap, sometimes they don’t. It’s helpful to have a good rapport with your manager, yes, but just because you don’t feel like friends at the end of one interview doesn’t mean that they didn’t like you. It doesn’t even mean that they’d be a bad boss.

        It’s entirely possible that the interview felt formal because that’s the tone the hiring manager set, and that tone would have been the same whether or not OP was more relaxed. That’s just how some people prefer to run their interviews and it’s not necessarily a red flag for anything.

        1. Dan*

          During my first job hunt after grad school, I received two competing offers that were so close that the people-vibes factored into the equation. I felt positively about both companies, but if the people vibes were off, that would have been enough to tilt my decision in the other direction.

          I’ve had other interviews where the people were just off, and I can only go by what I see. Frequently, my jobs require relocation, and there’s no way I’m going to take that job if I don’t get at least a little of the warm fuzzies.

          I’m not necessarily looking for TPTB to be “warm, open, and friendly” during an interview, but I am looking for a meaningful and pleasant dialogue about what I have to offer and what the companies need. The ones that turn me off are simultaneously cold and impersonal, and very perfunctory in their interview questions, like they’re going through a checklist.

        2. MK*

          It’s also possible that the interviewer was a formal sort of person and the OP trying to be more relaxed would come across as inappopriately familiar. The whole “warm, open and friendly” thing can backfire at you.

          1. fposte*

            I agree with you on the possibility that the interviewer was naturally formal, but I think if the OP really feels she wasn’t being herself, that isn’t desirable–it’s better to have a realistic acknowledgment of a mismatch based on different styles than to force yourself into a style that isn’t how you really are.

  3. Lulu*

    “To my chagrin, at the end of the interview I was given the typical HR double speak: “It’s still early in the hiring process and that you should expect a call from us within the next few weeks.”

    Not sure if I would call this double speak, that’s just a normal way to end an interview and I don’t think you can read much into it.

    1. AdAgencyChick*

      +1. It’s not doublespeak, it’s just being noncommittal — as is completely normal unless you either absolutely nailed or absolutely bombed the interview.

      1. fposte*

        I’m with LJL in that’s pretty much what I’d say even if you absolutely nailed it or absolutely bombed it.

        1. Mallory Janis Ian*

          I was recently in an interview process in which we did have one candidate who nailed it at every step of the way, versus a couple who bombed on some very pertinent points. We still said the exact same thing to each of them as they were departing, because we tend to always keep such things noncommittal as a general habit. We knew we would not hire either of the two who bombed. We knew that the one who nailed it was a very strong contender. I think ending each interview with a generality is just prudent — no rash blurting-out of any on-the-spot pronouncements

    2. LJL*

      I say that to ALL candidates, the ones that really wow me and the ones that make me shudder. It’s just easier.

      1. JB*

        Absolutely. Even if I loved a candidate, I wouldn’t say so because I wouldn’t want to give them false hope. Really being wowed by someone in an interview doesn’t mean you’ll ultimately end up making them an offer.

    3. nona*

      Yep. Even if they loved OP and wanted to hire them immediately, it would at least take some time to work out. That’s normal.

  4. 42*

    >> It’s that you want to interact that way you would with a colleague who you’d been working with for a while. You want your interviewer to be able to picture you as a colleague…”<<

    Yes yes yes^^.

    I am very comfortable and -friendly- with my manager, but I do not consider him my -friend-. And after almost 2 years at my company, I wouldn't ask him to an informal lunch, let alone asking someone with whom I don't have a professional relationship (or any kind of relationship) at all. It would be…..weird. And against professional norms.

    Chalk this interview up as a practice session for your interview persona, if you don't get an offer. Feeling comfortable in your skills goes a long way in accomplishing your goal of appearing relaxed and confident and professional in an interview. It's not easy; interviewing does suck. Good luck to you!

    1. Judy*

      I can’t tell if you’re saying it’s against professional norms to ask your manager to lunch? (I certainly do believe it is against professional norms to ask your interviewer to lunch.)

      Maybe it’s just different where I’ve been, but my managers have had busy schedules, and I’ve had much more luck fitting into their schedules if I ask them to lunch. Of course, thinking back, I’m usually not the first one to do that, I’ve had my managers usually invite me first to lunch for midyear performance reviews or to talk about a new project. While I don’t think it’s a good idea for a manager to always go to lunch with their employees, especially just a subset of their employees, most of my managers seem to have once a week gone to lunch one on one with an employee, rotating between the members on their team.

      1. Apple22over7*

        I think it’s very much a know-your-office-culture thing. In my current job, lunch hours are sacred, everyone in the organisation (from CEO to the office apprentice) is encouraged to take their full lunch hour for themselves. No-one ever schedules lunchtime meetings for work purposes. The only time I’ve ever had lunch with my boss has been when he’s called a social lunchtime and paid for pizza (usually on an employee’s last day).

        However, I’ve also worked in places where grabbing lunch with your boss was the only time you could guarantee you’d have their attention for a good chunk of time, although even then I hated to intrude on their lunch.

  5. Laurel Gray*

    OP, Alison offered some great advice. I highly recommend some interview role play with someone you trust, has a professional background and can offer some insight/feedback. I definitely think with practice the stiffness and unnaturalness will wear off. Good luck!

  6. Sunflower*

    Yeah don’t do that. It would come off to me like you were trying to mess with the interview process. Also, don’t beat yourself up. Sounds like their response was just a normal way to speak to someone in the interview process. I don’t think you’d get a different response whether they loved or hated you. Also this is your first interview in 2 months so it might take a couple before you get back into the groove of it and feeling relaxed.

    In the future, I’d suggest getting out to more networking events and practicing interviews, even if it’s just with a friend or yourself. When you practice interview responses, are you reading them in your head or saying them out loud? I have a document with interview questions and before an interview, I type my responses to them and practice from there. We write very differently than we speak. I’d sound like a robot if I spoke exactly what I wrote in the same way I’d look like a fool if I typed out exactly what I said. Practicing out loud helps a lot with keeping the tone more casual.

    1. JB*

      I agree that the OP shouldn’t beat themselves up. I’m personable but professional as a coworker and as an interviewer, but for years I was stiff and unnatural as an interviewee. Even knowing I was doing it, it was hard to stop. It’s kind of a miracle anyone ever hired me. I think it says something that in the few interviews where I was able to relax and be the professional version of the real me, I got the jobs. But it can take a lot of practice to figure out how to do that.

  7. BRR*

    To specifically answer your question don’t do it. It comes across as you trying to get around the system.

    I have a hunch you’re over thinking/over analyzing your interview. They didn’t reject you, you just got the time frame for the next steps which is actually the only thing they should do. If you were hoping for the hiring manager to ask you for the next round that’s unlikely to happen because they probably want to review all candidates and scheduling for multiple interviews is a huge pain.

    As to your demeanor, I’m getting the feeling that because you probably really want a job you’re thinking about job hunting too competitively. I completely get the position you’re in (been there) but the best advice I could give is calm down. You may not even be coming across robotic, it may just be your perception. I bet if you figured out how to relax more you would lose any robotic feelings.

    That’s not to say you shouldn’t prepare. I rehearse my answers A LOT but I try and remember what conductor George Szell once said, “It should sound completely spontaneous but as the result of meticulous practice.” I take a second before answering (time perception is different to you and your interviewer) then answer. It gives me a second to collect my thoughts and speak like a human instead of “Oooh I have an answer to that!”

    1. BRR*

      I’d also say I bet you’re concerned about giving the “right.” You want to give a good answer but that involves coming up with something that is honest then just phrasing is in good manner.

    2. HeyNonnyNonny*

      My favorite trick is that it’s OK to say things like ‘That’s a good question’ if you need a little extra time before answering an interview question. It helps fight my fear of those empty seconds!

      1. Katie the Fed*

        Sometimes I’ll even jot down a few notes before I answer so I don’t forget anything I want to say.

  8. Ali*

    This reminds me of a job hunting book I read in my later college years and maybe a little after before I found AAM. However, the tactic was meant to be used at a job fair, where the author encouraged the job seeker to make reservations for lunch for two with a recruiter so you could “sell yourself” for the position. It seemed weird and aggressive to me at the time, and it does in this letter too.

    1. PseudonyMousie*

      Oh man, that was my reaction too. I was so relieved to find out that it was a much more reasonable idea.

      Of course, now I’m wondering what the best advice would be for that, and any possible exceptions to “no, do not ask your interviewer on a date”!

  9. CaliCali*

    This sounds a bit like the job-searching equivalent of being unsure if someone is interested in you romantically and if that one time you hung out was a date or not, so you ask them to hang out “just as friends” while hoping for more. And both professionally and personally, people don’t like when you’re trying to angle for something under another pretense. I get that that’s not entirely the case here — it’s still clear you’re interested in the job — but you’re going for another means to impress, in a sense, and probably one that would backfire.

  10. C Average*

    Having been on interview panels, I would be SO flummoxed if an interviewee reached out to me in an outside-the-process way!

    We’re already taking so many measures to try to treat all candidates the same: standardized set of questions, standardized interview process, same panel, same scoring form and criteria, etc. We’re all a bit paranoid about inadvertently being unfair to candidates by introducing any inequality to the process.

    I remember running into a candidate in a public place before we’d announced a hiring decision but after we had decided, as a panel, not to go forward with this candidate. It was so, so awkward trying to converse with her without tipping my hand by being too friendly, not friendly enough, etc.

    During the hiring process, I want to keep the line between within-the-hiring-process and outside-the-hiring process so bright you can see it from Mars. Anything else is really not fair to the candidate pool as a whole.

    (This might vary by role and employer, of course. Our process involves a lot of people getting to the interview stage through referrals and word of mouth, but once they’re in the process, it’s completely standardized, especially for external candidates.)

    1. Dan*

      IMHO, unless you’re working for a government agency, your company is trying way to hard to be “fair” when it’s really unnecessary.

      I have a somewhat unique background that is extremely relevant in my industry. Because it is unique, it will never (ok, perhaps rarely) come out during a “checklist” interview, and I subsequently don’t get offers. When companies are looking for a real dialogue, we have a great conversation, and the offers tend to follow.

      Your focus should be on finding the right person for the job, not making the process as “fair” as possible.

      1. C Average*

        Philosophically, I agree with you. But determining our interview approach is outside of my wheelhouse and way above my pay grade and, as a panelist, I want to abide by the established process.

        1. fposte*

          The stuff we’re required to do by state policy makes me really crazy sometimes, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do; at least most of the people I deal with when I’m hiring are familiar with the structure and know it’s inevitable.

      2. Paid Way Too Much For What I Do*

        Wouldn’t you mention this unique background in your cover letter or resume, especially if it is important enough to make the difference between getting offers and not getting offers in your industry?

        1. Dan*

          Sure do, and I work it in to the interview itself. But when I say, “I do X” or “I know X about your company” the appropriate follow up on their end is “Tell me about X” or “What do you know about our product/what we do?” There’s only so much I can do without being pushy. I throw them the bait, they don’t take it. If it’s just not valuable to them, or their process doesn’t allow them to explore it, then my hands are tied.

          And no, I don’t over value my background. I do work in a niche field, and don’t have trouble finding jobs that are good fits and pay well. It’s just that some places have very bureaucratic hiring processes that aren’t equipped to deal with someone who doesn’t come from the traditional mold that they recruit from.

          As a example, say I work for a trucking company building software to optimize their delivery schedules. I’m hiring software developers to help me. A guy walks in with software skills AND a CDL, having driven the delivery trucks for FedEx while he was in college. I should talk to him about driving the truck and the logistical problems, right? I’d be a fool not to. But my bureaucratic hiring process assumes that everybody applying for the job never drove a truck, so those questions aren’t on there and I can’t deviate from the script, because it wouldn’t be “fair” to the other applicants…. the ones who have no truck driving experience.

  11. Katie the Fed*

    Oh please don’t do this. I get REALLY skeeved out by people who are overly familiar when it’s not appropriate to the situation.

    You can be perfectly likeable in an interview setting by being sincere and expressing your honest enthusiasm for the job. If I’m interviewing someone and I see their face light up when they talk about the work they do – I love that. I don’t need/want to be friends. I want to see what inspires them and what they bring to the table.

    I see the “double speak” issue has been addressed above, so I won’t repeat it. You seem kind of new to the hiring process – please take things at face value. You’re not setting the rules here – they are.

    1. JB*

      “I get REALLY skeeved out by people who are overly familiar when it’s not appropriate to the situation”

      YES. Please don’t do this.

      1. KarenT*

        Thirded. It’s overly familiar, and I’d think that you were either trying to circumvent the hiring manager, trying to date me, trying to befriend, not familiar with business norms, or I was signing up for some sort of sales pitch. None of those are good things.
        Take this as interview practice–it sounds like you know where you went wrong so use that momentum for your next interview.

  12. Artemesia*

    Even when you give a great interview you may not get invited for the next round. Just assume that you will be doing lots of interviews, that you will never be able to read feedback unless it is ‘let’s set you up to talk to the boss as you look like a great fit for this job’ and assume you won’t hear from them again. So many times, the job is going to an insider or there is someone with the perfect mix of qualifications who will slide in ahead of you even when you are terrific. The more you overanalyze your responses and beat yourself up the more miserable this process is.

  13. Jwal*

    I’ve often found that the interviews I came out of thinking “wow I really don’t think that went very well” are the ones that got me the job (at least for my last thee positions anyway). They always say that they’ll be in touch soon, because really that’s all they can say (I’m not sure if I’d be pleased or worried if my ineterviewer finished with “We’re almost definitely gonna hire you but we’ve got to talk to all these other people. Don’t worry – now that we’ve got our candidate we won’t be listening to their answers”…)

    I echo what people have said above. Find someone to talk through your answers with. When yu’re comfortable with what you’re saying you’ll find that your posture and tone are more relaxed too.

    Good luck with your search!

  14. WolfmansBrother*

    I have to interview people every school year (we hire college students who only stay with us for about 1-2 years), I would be really flummoxed if someone contacted me to a lunch after we had only ever spoken in an interview. I would also have to decline the lunch no matter what as we have a very formal hiring process and anything outside of the norm would be put under scrutiny. Even if I hit it off on a very personal level with someone during an interview if there was someone whose skill set matched what I was looking for, I would have to hire the someone else. I don’t need to be friends with everyone under me; I need to trust them to get the work done professionally.

  15. Not Today Satan*

    I hate that feeling after an interview (or during) when I realize I acted like a stiff robot. Thankfully, it does get a lot easier over time–the less nervous/insecure you are, the more natural you will probably be. What I struggle with is staying personable when talking to a really low energy, not friendly interviewer. The low energy seems to be contagious and I absorb the robot mode. :-/

  16. Elizabeth West*

    My goal was to be more personable and be able to interact with the interviewer as if he was a friend, which would be more memorable/likeable.

    What makes you memorable in an interview is how well your skills and goals fit the position. What makes you likeable is not being an ass. It doesn’t sound like you were an ass, and at this stage of the game it’s hard to tell whether the interviewer thought first was true. If you were polite and seemed interested in the job, you probably did fine. :)

    Interviewers and hiring managers and bosses are NOT your friends, so it’s probably best to dispense with that kind of thinking and like Alison said, think of them as potential coworkers (because that’s how they will view you). You won’t be hanging out at the pool when you begin working with someone. You’ll be doing work. Which can be fun sometimes, with the right coworkers, but even then it’s still work. Separate the two.

    You definitely will be memorable if you reach out like this, just in the wrong fashion!

  17. Brian Krueger*

    I’ve done a lot of interviews over the past 20 years (at least 10,000) and I have never been asked to lunch by a candidate. You’re exactly right–if someone did, it would feel like they were trying to circumvent the process. It would be creepy, to say the least. Right or wrong, interviewing is done on the terms (and turf) of the employer.

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