Inviting Harvard interviewer for lunch?

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Discus: College Admissions: March 2004 Archive: Inviting Harvard interviewer for lunch?
By Amylase (Amylase) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 08:13 am: Edit


i scheduled my harvard interview at around 11:30, so we will probably end up talking till around 12 or 1:00 pm.

Is it a good idea to invite my interviewer to have lunch with me?

my question might seem bizzare to you people , but it is my country's custom to invite people for a nice meal, it is considered good manners here. (weird huh)

By Soulofheaven8 (Soulofheaven8) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 08:21 am: Edit

Is your interview Chinese? If not, has he been living in China long enough to know the custom?

By Scorp (Scorp) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 01:40 pm: Edit

First make sure he doesn't have a special diet. (I.e. kosher, vegeterian, frutaritarian, humanitarian (muahaha), etc...)

PS: If he doesn't enjoy his meal then you = screwed++;

By Amylase (Amylase) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 05:47 pm: Edit

I think he has been here for several years, and no, he is not chinese.

I don't know if he has special diet or not.

By Sally (Sally) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 06:09 pm: Edit

hey Amylase, which part of china r u in?

By Bern700 (Bern700) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 06:12 pm: Edit

It doesn't hurt to be polite...I met my interviewer at a coffee place and I offered to buy her a drink. I was just being polite and she accepted. I don't think she thought I was bribing her or anything like that...

Amylase, it can't hurt to be polite. If he says that he's busy or something then that's the worst that can happen. Go ahead invite him.

By Flyguy (Flyguy) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 08:37 pm: Edit

Inviting someone for a nice meal, only a chinese custom?

Are you smoking crack?

That is a nice custom in the United States as well. Probably everywhere else too.

By Mjl86 (Mjl86) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 08:46 pm: Edit

i love your directedness, flyguy

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 09:38 pm: Edit

LOL Flyguy! That's common courtesy, to invite someone over for a meal, I imagine even in the depths of some African jungle. I think it would be RUDE not to offer him something to eat at least. Everyone wants food when they go to a strange house, even if they're not hungry, because at least they're getting something out of it. And if you feed him some scrumptious meal that fills him up, I don't think there's a single chance that he won't put in a good word for you. Another advantage is that you won't be face to face, talking the entire time. When you're talking and eating it's more casual, there's less pressure, because you're focusing on your food and have an excuse not to look him straight in the eye at every moment.

By Flyguy (Flyguy) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 10:30 pm: Edit

Wow...that was really deep Aim78...

Props to you bro

By Meow (Meow) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 11:04 pm: Edit

Amylase is asking a valid question. Between most Americans, inviting an interviewer to lunch would seem like overkill.

If he's been in China for several years, I would assume that he's familiar with Chinese customs and invite him.

By Amylase (Amylase) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 05:31 am: Edit

another thing is we are likely to meet in the hall of a five star grand hotel, and to have a nice meal there means $$$. plus i'm not sure if he will be comfortable with my offer. But for Harvard, i'll do it.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 06:04 am: Edit

It is a confusing situation because the customs of China differ greatly from the customs of the US and of Harvard. In the US, in such a situation, if anyone were to offer to pay for a meal, it would be the interviewer.

I am surprised at the experience that was related in this thread in which an interviewer -- presumably in the US -- accepted an offer of a drink from a student. If I interviewed students in coffee shops, I'd plan to buy them a drink. I'd be the host, and it would be polite for me to buy them some refreshments.

My thoughts are that due to the fact that the interview is in China, and Amylase is Chinese, she should follow the Chinese custom, and if the interviewer feels uncomfortable about it, the interviewer will gracefully turn it down.

If I were the interviewer, I wouldn't want to have a meal with the student. It would be very difficult for me to take notes. Having a meal with the student before or after the interview would be just as bad because there still would be interesting things that would be discussed that I would want to take notes on. I'd also find it to be distracting to be eating while also conducting an important interview.

By Amylase (Amylase) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 07:02 am: Edit

Thank you very much Northstarmom. It's indeed very helpful to see this situation through another Harvard interviwer's perspective.

Now i know what to do. Just be polite without causing any unnecessary embarassments.

Thank you so much again

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 07:07 am: Edit

Good luck, Amylase. You seem like a very nice thoughtful person, and I hope things work out for you with Harvard.

Where else did you apply? The Harvard odds are so slim for everyone that I hope you have some nice back-up schools.

By Najy (Najy) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 08:10 am: Edit

I brought food to my Cornell interview. Too bad she was on Atkins.

I seriously think the Atkins diet caused my pending rejection from cornell.

By U2rules (U2rules) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 08:15 am: Edit

I went for my cornell interview and the guy offered me a ton of stuff at his office.

he started off with nachos and then a pizza and the i had like 2 was all on him.
i couldnt turn him down cuz it was around lunch time and he looked pretty hungry and it would be weird if he ate by himself.

if the guy offers you lunch take meal.!
dont go overboard tho and bankrupt the guy.
and you better not spit food while you talk.

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 10:49 am: Edit

I agree with Northstarmom, if anyone should play "host", it's the interviewer, not the student. It might be different in the interview was going to be at the student's home, but at the interviewer's home or at a public place, age/power/income would put the interviewer in the host role.

By Flyguy (Flyguy) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 01:43 pm: Edit

HAHA U2RULES! Atkins diet costed you Cornell!
That's funny..

And guys...inviting someone to lunch is not overkill. Especially if you're having a good, friendly conversation with the interviewer. There's no reason why you shouldn't ask them out to eat. There's nothing wrong with giving off a friendly vibe.

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