Why You Should Talk Food and Drink at Job Interviews.

Job interviews are tough. We’ve all sat nervously in our cars for twenty minutes before being grilled by a panel of strangers about your skills and experience. It’s an inevitable part of modern life, and we’ll never quite get used to it.

What’s even harder than answering a barrage of interview questions is having the confidence to ask questions of your interviewers in return, especially if the interview isn’t quite going to plan. But next time you’re sat at the interview table and the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, take a deep breath and ask one simple, but hugely important question – what food and drink provisions do you have available for staff?

By asking this one question, you’ll get a good indication of how much your prospective employer values staff wellbeing and how much emphasis there is on providing food and drink perks. You’ll never be able to get a complete view of a company’s culture until you join them, but the answers your interviewers give to this question are a good place to start.

Coffee should be more than ‘a cup of hot and brown’

We’ve come an awful long way from the days of coffee at work being low quality, high volume, and devoid of taste. Coffee vending machines have had a bad reputation from decades of poor technology and ingredients, but these days are thankfully now confined to the history books.

In 2022, workplaces have access to some seriously impressive technology, with fresh milk, coffee syrups and iced drinks now all options on office coffee machines. Coffee has worked its way across the European continent, as well as over the pond from the US, and is now a staple in workers’ lives.

Ideally, your prospective employers will be shouting from the rooftops about how great their coffee machines are, as this is a great sign that they’ve invested in solutions that their staff desire, and that they see it as a worthwhile expense to keep their team happy and satisfied at work.

60% of your body is made up of water – make sure it stays that way

It’s widely known, either from reading about it or as first-hand experience, that humans can’t operate at their best without being properly hydrated. Whether it’s dizziness, lack of concentration or a thumping headache, the impact of dehydration on productivity is stark.

Water is one of the cheapest and most effective ways for employers to demonstrate their commitment to your wellbeing, so keep an ear out for any mention of water coolers or water taps in the interviewers’ responses. Having great quality, purified water available to you will help make your office time that much more comfortable.

The top employers sometimes go a step further, with water provisions that allow for sparkling or chilled water, typically from mains fed machines. Coolers like the Borg and Overstrom B6 also come with features like contactless dispense and anti-microbial coatings to help minimise the risk of you picking up a cold or other virus from others using the coolers.

Lunch shouldn’t be an inconvenience

Whether you get a full hour or a half hour to eat your lunch and have a breather, it shouldn’t be an inconvenience to source good quality food. The best employers out there will understand the local area and how long it will take (or how far you’ll have to travel) to get hold of a nutritious, delicious lunch.

In some cases, particularly in rural areas, you can be travelling 10 minutes by car to the nearest shop, before a quick walk around the shop and a 10 minute return trip. If you’re on a half hour lunch break, that doesn’t give you much time to eat your lunch or have some time to yourself. You’ll want to know that your employer has considered this, and has options for you to have something substantial for lunch without needing to leave the premises.

Likewise, if the quality of the local fresh food isn’t great, your prospective employer might choose to provide salads, wraps, sandwiches, and hot options in the workplace, to keep staff energy levels high and give everyone a bit of time at lunch to recharge.

Above and beyond goes a long way

So your hopeful employers have answered your question well, and you feel confident that they’re taking care of the team’s food and drink needs – fantastic! However, you might be interviewing for a few different roles and they could have equally as good provisions in place, so how do you identify the company that really puts staff first?

Employers who do this well are often offering something more, whether it’s free fresh fruit in the office every day, or a fresh milk coffee machine that gives you different flavoured syrup options free of charge.

It might even be that your potential employer gives staff a free hot meal every day, giving you the choice of a hot panini, breakfast wrap or a chicken burger and saving you money every single day.

If your interviewer blows you away with a long list of food and drink options that they’ve carefully curated over the years from staff feedback, you can almost guarantee that they’ll look after you whilst you’re with them.


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